ORC (Organic Ranking Cycle) turbine installations

In order to reduce the amount of electricity taken from the national grids, the Saint-Gobain Group has opted for self-consumption by installing ORC turbines to meet part of the needs of its sites in Pisa (Italy) and Chennai (India).

Main project's drivers for reducing the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions

levier1Created with Sketch.

Energy and resource efficiency

noun_Ecology_1351672Created with Sketch.

Energy Decarbonisation

noun_Energy Efficiency_1362024Created with Sketch.

Energy efficiency improvements

noun_green energy_1112618Created with Sketch.

Improving efficiency in non-energy resources

noun_absorptive capacity_3636324Created with Sketch.

Emission removal

financement iconCreated with Sketch.

Financing low-carbon issuers or disinvestment from carbon assets

noun_Climate Change_2531889Created with Sketch.

Reduction of other greenhouse gases emission

Project objectives

Reducing electricity consumption from the grid at the Pisa and Chennai sites by installing Organic Ranking Cycle (ORC) turbines, using the waste heat from furnace fumes.

Detailed project description

In order to improve the energy efficiency of its production sites and limit their carbon impact, the Saint-Gobain Group has chosen to install ORC (Organic Ranking Cycle) turbines, which use the waste heat from furnace fumes to produce electricity.

An ORC turbine recovers about 5MW of thermal heat from the furnace fumes, which allows the production of about 1MW of electricity.

As the electricity is self-consumed by the plant, this electricity production limits the consumption of electricity from the national grid.

The application of this ORC technology is a first for the Saint-Gobain Group.

Emission scope(s)

on which the project has a significant impact

Scope 1

Direct emissions generated by the company's activity.

Scope 2

Indirect emissions associated with the company's electricity and heat consumption.

Scope 3

Emissions induced (upstream or downstream) by the company's activities, products and/or services in its value chain.

Emission Removal

Carbon sinks creation, (BECCS, CCU/S, …)

Avoided Emissions

Emissions avoided by the activities, products and/or services in charge of the project, or by the financing of emission reduction projects.

Scope 2

  • Quantification : 9,4 ktCO2/year

The ORC turbine partially meets the electricity needs of the sites. On average, an ORC system produces about 8,500 MWh/year of electricity.

Considering that the average emission factor of the Italian grid is 0.4 tCO2/MWh and that the Indian grid is 0.7 tCO2/MWh, this amounts to a CO2 gain of 3.4 ktCO2/year for the Italian site and 6 ktCO2/year for the Indian site.

Key points

GroupCreated with Sketch.

Invested amount

5 M€ per installation

noun_date_1379066Created with Sketch.

Starting date of the project


noun_position_2125941Created with Sketch.

Project localisation

Pise (Italy) et Chennai (India)

Project maturity level

Prototype laboratory test (TRL 7)

Real life testing (TRL 7-8)

Pre-commercial prototype (TRL 9)

Small-scale implementation

Medium to large scale implementation

Economic profitability of the project (ROI)

Short term (0-3 years)

Middle term (4-10 years)

Long term (> 10 years)

Illustrations of the project

This ORC turbine project impacts the average CO2 emission level of the national electricity grid, by switching the corresponding consumption to ORC electricity production.

The project also contributes to the achievement of the Saint-Gobain Group’s CSR objectives, in particular the objective of carbon neutrality for 2050.

Reproducibility compatible on all float lines, with a particular interest on those located in countries with a high CO2 electrical emission factor. The level of available waste heat in the flue gas of the float process must be adapted to the technical and economic dimensioning of this type of technology.


Sufficient availability of the waste heat from the furnace flue gas, which is variable depending on the capacity of the furnace, and good maintenance of the installation over time are two factors that determine the success of such a project.

Several partners were involved in the installation of the ORC turbines in the Saint-Gobain plants:

  • Contractors: GEA Group AG (project management) and TURBODEN S.P.A. (supplier of the ORC turbine)
  • Local contractors for various supply and assembly works
  • Public aid:
  • Pisa: State via Italian subsidies White certificates
  • Chennai: no public aid
noun_Mail_1571628Created with Sketch.

Contact the company carrying the project :


Saint-Gobain’s other projects: