Energy costs reduction for a middle east-based section and beam blank producer

Customer characteristics and project scope:

Our customer, a middle east-based producer of sections and beam blanks with a production capacity of around 1.3 MTPA requested us to identify energy saving potentials to reduce natural gas, process gas and electricity consumption. Scope of the audit was the entire plant with its major consumers in the area of direct reduced iron plant, electric arc furnace and ladle furnace, continuous casting machine, heavy section mill and utilities section including water treatment plant, pumping stations, pressurization systems and dedusting plant.


Consulting approach and activities:

In a joint alignment with our customer, we tailored our energy audit approach to his specific requirements and local production characteristics. Potential energy saving where categorized in three levers:

  1. Equipment level: Modification or installation of new equipment that leads to a verified impact on energy consumption.
  2. Operation level: Improvements in operation standards among the different plant areas to run equipment at optimal operation level.
  3. Management level: Adaption of management processes and routines in order to realize energy saving potentials.

Three modules where defined that structured our activities in consecutive stages:

Module A) – Quick Assessment:

Since auditing of an entire plant with its various energy consumers is a labor-intensive task, we aligned with our customer in a first approach to identify improvement areas and measures on a qualitative basis with regard to technical feasibility, implementation effort and cost saving potential. Based on these drivers, we were able to prioritize the variety of potential energy saving measures among the different plant areas and keep only the most promising ones as basis for Module B). This approach ensured an efficient audit and consists out of a pre-audit phase to analyze operational data upfront, a five days on-site assessment with workshops and site investigations and an off-site analysis with continuous remote workshops with our process and customer´s experts.

Module B) Deep Dive Analysis:

Based on the prioritized measures of Module A), a selection of most relevant measures with best “return on invest”-indication was compiled. Target of the deep dive analysis was to detail each improvement potential regarding its engineering requirements and to detail the technical measure description. Main objective was to quantify the saving potential and implementation effort for a direct comparison and subsequent prioritization in US-Dollar, kWh/t of electricity, m3/t of natural gas consumption. This precise evaluation served as a basis for an implementation roadmap that ensured a logical and temporal structure of the implementation strategy.

Module C) Implementation:

Based on the previous results, our customer had a clear foundation for his final investment decision resulting in further detail engineering and implementation of the evaluated energy saving measures.


Benefits and results:

As a result of the energy audit, more that 50 measures where identified with a verified impact on energy cost reduction. These measures vary from: Equipment modifications such as changing the ejector stack fan to inline hot fan in direct reduced iron plant. Changes in operation procedures such as optimization and reduction of superheat in the continuous casting machine or adjustment of transition zone natural gas flow in furnace process of direct reduced iron plant. Improvement in energy management such as implementation of an advanced energy monitoring system for the electric arc furnace and ladle furnace that allows specific energy consumption per heat, steel grade or batch production with target values instead of average daily or hourly consumption rates.