ZF has opened its first zero-emission factory at Klášterec, around 100km north-west of the Czech Republic’s capital, Prague.

The opening comes after around a year-and-a-half of renovations ZF conducted at the production site. The newly reopened plant uses 3,400 solar modules, as well as a heating system that works without fossil fuels.

In addition, company officials noted the new plant in Klášterec will serve as a “model plant” for ZF’s production sites worldwide.

“The sustainable transformation at the Klášterec location is groundbreaking for our entire production network and helps us to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” said Stephan von Schuckmann, member of the ZF board of management. “To build strong, sustainable foundations, it is important to equip plants with the ability to generate electricity. In Klášterec, this was accomplished by installing 3,400 solar modules on the campus, meeting roughly 20% of the plant’s annual electricity requirements.”

News of the Czech plant reconversion comes after ZF Group’s subsidiary in Serbia announced last week plans to expand operations in the Western Balkan country and open a new net zero-emissions factory at the Pančevo industrial zone.

Once completed, the plant could lead to the creation of 600 jobs in the region.

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ZF is looking to convert all of its facilities to run completely on green energy, said Dhanashree Kad, head of sustainability at ZF’s Electrified Powertrain Technology Division.

“Additionally, the Czech e-mobility plant’s fossil fuel-dependent gas heating system has been replaced by heat pumps, reducing the plant’s overall annual heating costs by 50%,” he continued.

ZF opened the plant in Klášterec in 1992. The factory currently employs nearly 700 people and manufactures power electronic components for electric vehicle motors produced by the company’s plants in Germany and Serbia.