Save Energy Now Assessment of Dow Chemical Plant in Louisiana Saves $1.9 Million Annually
November 14, 2007
To identify opportunities to make its steam systems more energy efficient, Dow Chemical Company applied for a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Save Energy Now assessment at the St. Charles Operations petrochemical plant in Hahnville, Louisiana, in late 2005. Plant managers particularly wanted to reduce the amount of natural gas used in the steam systems.
The assessment was performed by a team consisting of DOE Energy Expert Riyaz Papar of Hudson Technologies and six Dow employees. Using DOE's Steam System Assessment Tool, the team was able to quantify several opportunities for increasing the efficiency of the steam systems. Quickly capitalizing on some of the short-term opportunities, the plant has achieved some impressive natural gas savings.
For example, plant employees repaired several failed steam traps and fixed a number of leaks while improving an existing steam trap program and enhancing a leak repair campaign. The combined energy and cost savings resulting from those efficiency measures are 272,000 MMBtu and $1.9 million per year, respectively. Since the total cost of the improvements was approximately $225,000, the simple payback was only about six weeks. In the future, Dow could pursue other savings opportunities identified in the assessment.
Dow Chemical Company has approximately 42,000 employees around the world and annual sales of $46 billion. Dow has been proactive about energy efficiency for the past 30 years and intends to improve its 2005 energy intensity by 25% by 2015.