ERE electricity savings

One NorthEast’s Energy Resource Efficiency (ERE) programme is helping deliver a host of electricity savings at a TeesValley speciality chemicals company.

Johnson Matthey Catalysts’ Billingham-based manufacturing plant has seen a reduction in energy use across the site of around 16 per cent since signing up to the ERE programme.

Working on behalf of ERE, consultants SJW Associates has guided the manufacturing team through a series of training and investigatory steps.

Rob Peeling, plant manager at Johnson Matthey, said: ‘By implementing ERE best practice we are making significant electricity savings across the manufacturing plant and also helping reduce our impact on the environment by reducing energy consumption.

‘The systematic approach of the programme has proved highly motivating, putting our operating team firmly in the driving seat of energy saving.’

Initial work has included understanding and mapping out all energy uses across the complex; identifying areas for potential energy use reduction by operating in a more energy-efficient way; and modifying or replacing equipment.

So far, the work has focused on refrigeration and cooling water circuits where large amounts of electricity are consumed in chilling and circulating the cooling fluids through the plant’s reactors.

Following plant trials by the operating team, it has been proved that manufacturing may be carried out safely in a more energy efficient operating mode. The saving in electricity use, achieved immediately, is equivalent to an eight per cent reduction in the site energy bill.

The team is now working on further improvements, involving detailed improvements to the specification of equipment to further cut electricity use. It is expected that these changes will take a further eight per cent off the site bill and that the costs involved will be paid for out of the savings in less than six months.