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Electronics Production | September 27, 2004

STMicro leads the way in the use of alternative fuel

STMicroelectronics has announced that its Kirkop back-end semiconductor manufacturing facility in Malta has taken the initiative to use only biodiesel fuel for the diesel-powered vehicles in its transport fleet and for its boiler systems.

ST Malta, which is the largest exporter and one of the largest employers in the country, is now using biodiesel "B100" to power its fork-lift trucks, road vehicles and the boilers which heat its facility. B100 is produced entirely from recycled edible oil used in catering processes and contains no petroleum products. With a start-up cost of less than $1000, the biodiesel program is expected to save approximately $3200 in fuel costs per year, thanks to lower consumption and fuel prices. The real saving, however, is the dramatic cut in the emissions of harmful gases and particulates that are present when normal petrodiesel is used.

ST has set high environmental goals alongside its more conventional business ambitions. As long ago as 1995 it defined and published its Environmental Decalogue, a ten-point roadmap of timed and quantifiable targets leading towards the ultimate goal of becoming environmentally neutral. The roadmap defines specific objectives for reducing consumption of energy, water and chemicals, and for reducing and limiting greenhouse gas emissions and waste.

In 2003 the company was judged Best Industrial Renewable Energy Partnership in the final year of the European Commission's five-year 'Campaign for Take-Off' competition. The prize was awarded in recognition of ST's ambitious program to obtain 15% of its energy from renewable sources by the year 2010, and of its progress towards that target. All of ST's manufacturing sites are EMAS (Eco-Management and Audit Scheme) validated and ISO14001 certified, international standards for environmental management aimed at reducing environmental impact.

Commenting on this initiative, Gene Gretchen, Managing Director of ST's Malta facility, said, "We are delighted to actively support ST's aggressive corporate sustainable development programs. The biodiesel initiative is the latest in the series of environmental breakthroughs, which culminated in the Malta plant being recognized as part of the European Union Management Award for Sustainable Development."

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