Terra Nitrogen's Save Energy Now Plant Assessment Reduces Energy Costs by More Than $3.5 Million Annually
October 19, 2007
Management at Terra Nitrogen's ammonia and fertilizer plant in Verdigris, Oklahoma, has consistently supported efforts to improve the plant's energy efficiency. So it is not surprising that the plant wasted no time in implementing several of the recommendations made in a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Save Energy Now assessment. The plant assessment was conducted in 2006 to identify ways to further improve the efficiency of the plant's steam system.
The primary objective of the assessment was to analyze natural gas use in the plant's steam system to see if additional opportunities could be found to make it more energy efficient. To conduct the assessment, DOE Energy Expert Veerasamy Venkatesan of VGAEC, Inc., formed a team with selected plant personnel. They used DOE's Steam System Assessment Tool (SSAT) to identify opportunities for improvements. The SSAT analysis confirmed the potential energy savings that would result from installing a loop dehydrator and retrofitting the back-pressure turbine with a condensing turbine in an ammonia plant.
Following the assessment, the company upgraded two turbines, installed a loop dehydrator, and repaired failed steam traps and steam leaks. Annual energy and cost savings resulting from carrying out these measures have totaled approximately 497,000 MMBtu and more than $3.5 million; these measures should pay for themselves in savings in less than 11 months.
Additional opportunities for savings that were identified in the assessment are also being carried out. And the results have been shared with three other Terra Industries plants in the United States.