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Energy and water savings in a low-price environment

KBC was appointed to develop a sustainability program for a diversified group of manufacturing companies active in Petrochemicals, Chemical Specialties, Agri-Nutrients and Metals. The group was looking to achieve a corporate target of 25% reduction in energy and water consumption by 2025 at one of their methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE) production facilities in the Middle East.

The challenge

Very low energy prices made justification for investment in energy projects difficult. Identifying no/ low-cost investment solutions was essential.

Solution

KBC’s approach was based on benchmarking and gap analysis to identify areas with the greatest potential for improvement, within process units and at the site level. Opportunities to close gaps were identified and assessed, and a strategic road map was then developed for implementation.

Simulation models of all process and utility plants were developed using KBC’s Petro-SIM software, providing reliability and consistency in analyses and evaluations. The road map detailed a range of energy prices at which investment to achieve a reduction in energy intensity of 20% would become attractive.

The results

No/ low-cost solution that would reduce water intensity by 36% (exceeding target) and energy intensity by 15% were identified. A robust strategy to meet the 25% energy reduction target was developed and the necessary investment criteria were described. Following the success of the program, KBC was awarded a similar project at one of the customer's sister sites.

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