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The challenge

The customer wanted to reduce energy costs in upstream and midstream facilities. An internal benchmark based on specific energy consumption indicated that the site was already one of the leading performers in the group, but a GOSP assessment showed some scope for improvement. The customer wanted reassurance that the energy reduction projects identified were optimum.

The solution

KBC used their proprietary benchmarking and gap analysis technology to assess energy performance, including:

  • Oil-to-gas ratio in the feed and flows
  • Composition and pressures of different products

Multiple tools and techniques were employed to identify gap closing solutions. KBC’s Petro-SIM software was used to develop an integrated utility model to evaluate opportunities. R-curve analysis identified maximum power generation efficiency and optimum driver selection. An assessment of the potential for better heat integration was conducted via pinch analysis using SuperTarget software. Changes in process units and refrigeration systems were simulated to test impacts. Energy performance indicators were developed to enable comparison with best-in-class performers.

The results

Benchmarking showed the plant was not a first-quartile performer and used >80% more energy than the best technology (>60 Gcal/h potential) with gaps split evenly across heat integration (20%), shaftwork (25%), furnaces (30%) and process design (25%). Projects were identified that could close at least three-quarters of the gap.

These included:

  • 13 non-investment projects: total €2.8 million per year
  • 4 low-investment projects: up to 1 year payback worth €0.8 million per year
  • 9 investment projects: up to 5 year payback 

The savings totaled €8 million, which was double that already identified by the customer (29% savings). 80+ energy performance indicators were identified to help the customer sustain benefit over the long-term.

Our experts say

“Using rigorous benchmarking technology gave the customer confidence that all possible gap closing opportunities had been identified.”

--- Allan Rudman, Vice President Energy Services, KBC

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