Energy saving measures promises big returns for industries

Energy: Energy intensive industries in Pasakha, Chukha can reap huge returns from installing waste heat recovery measures, a National Environment Commission Secretariat (NECS) study says.

NECS and The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) studied the energy efficiency of three industries, calcium carbide, steel rolling mill, and ferro-silicon in Pasakha between March and October last year.

The results of the study was launched as a policy brief coinciding with the birth anniversary of His Royal Highness The Gyalsey Jigme Namgyel Wangchuck.

The earlier studies showed the industry as a venue for energy efficiency improvements.  Energy efficiency is one of the most attractive options to reduce production costs, the policy brief stated.

The result of the study in calcium carbide and ferro-silicon plants focussed on waste heat recovery from their electric furnaces. The efficiencies of the furnaces were found to be very low, between 30-40 percent.

“The energy losses from the furnace revealed that about 30 percent of the energy input to the furnace is lost or wasted through flue gases which are emitted from the stack,” the study stated.

The ferro-silicon plant has both technical and economic possibilities to install a waste heat recovery boiler and power plant system of about three mega watts.

The installation will need investment of Nu 200 million which has a pay-back period of four years.

The energy efficiency measure has potential to reduce green house gas emissions by about 22,400 tonnes a year.

In the calcium carbide plant the drying and preheating of feeding material is the most viable option to use the waste heat. If installed, the dryer system, worth Nu 32 million, would save 2.93 million kilowatts an hour of electricity a year. The investment will be recovered in five years from energy savings. The new system will reduce GHG emissions by 2,900 tonnes a year.

Numerous energy conservation measures were identified for the steel rolling mill. Measures worth Nu 15 million is likely to save 1.7 million KWH a year equivalent to 1,633 tonnes of CO2 and investment returned in four years.

Stakeholders from industry, and government agencies, among others, expressed interest in adopting the identified measures.

Energy efficiency is the cheapest and most effective way to reduce carbon-dioxide emissions, a major green-house gas, emitted by burning of fossil fuels.

Reduction of carbon emissions is a priority under international treaties to combat climate change and reduce global warming.

On September 30, 2015 the country submitted its intended nationally determined contribution to the UNFCCC in which it has committed to remain carbon neutral, meaning that the country will maintain its GHG emissions from energy, industry and other sectors to below its total carbon sink from land use, land use change and forestry.

The INDC also states that improvement of manufacturing processes in existing industries through investments and adoption of cleaner technology, energy efficiency and environmental management will be a priority.

The study was supported by the UN environment programme.

Tshering Palden

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