Large project to remove PCBs from 1,475 transformers at ENECO, Rotterdam


Courtesy of Envio Recycling GmbH & Co. KG

In November 2001, the Utility Partner department of ABB in Benelux received an order from ENECO Energie for a large-scale project: cleaning or replacing 1,475 transformers containing PCB-polluted oil.


As we had to deal with PCB polluted oil, we have to work according to strict procedures set up by the Dutch VROM Ministry (Public Housing, Spatial Planning and Environment). PCBs are hard to degrade. When burning it at too low a temperature toxic dioxin will be generated. In the past PCBs were used in transformers because of their excellent isolation qualities. Due to the damaging properties, however, governments all over the world prohibited the production and use of PCBs.


That is the reason why ENECO Energie had to deal with their 1,475 transformers. 1,200 of them contained only slightly polluted oil that can be changed by us locally. These transformers can be re-used.


The other 300 heavily polluted transformers are being recycled in one of ABB ’s specialized processing plants, in Dortmund (Germany). Transformers that cannot be reconditioned, i.e. decontaminated to PCB levels below the legally prescribed limit, for further use, will be recycled and replaced by new ABB transformers produced in ABB factories in Poland and Sweden.


'ABB Environmental Services', which realized the projects with ENECO in Rotterdam, was acquired by Envio group in 2004.

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