German BASF looks to cut energy costs at Ludwigshafen site

07 August 2009 20:50  [Source: ICIS news]

NEW YORK (ICIS news)--German chemical firm BASF is evaluating its most energy-intensive plants at the its Ludwigshafen site to cut energy use, a company official said on Friday.

“Over the next three years, we aim to review and identify potential savings at these plants, which account for around 80% of our total site energy consumption,” said Ulrich von Deessen, BASF’s chief climate protection officer and head of the Environment, Health and Safety Competence Center at the Ludwigshafen site.

At the site, 17 plants are currently using an in-house system that provides real-time data on energy and raw material consumption, von Deessen said.

“Since 2006, this information has helped reduce annual costs in these plants by over €1.5m [$2.1m],” he said.

Von Deessen said BASF was able to increase the company’s overall energy efficiency by 22% from 2002 to 2008 by energy optimisation of production processes, structural changes of some plants and the use of combined-heat-and-power or cogeneration plants.

Gas-fired combined-heat-and-power plants, according to von Deessen, are the company's most cost-efficient and climate-friendly alternatives. The plants provide 75% of BASF's worldwide energy demand, he said.

“We used cogeneration as the primary source of energy supply for our sites. Compared with conventional generation of electricity and steam, this saved approximately 10.9m megawatt hours of fossil fuels,” von Deessen said.

The company is also looking at new materials for energy-generation technologies such as thermal solar and fuel cells; new energy-storage technologies for more efficient use of energy; and carbon capture and sequestration, von Deessen said.

($1 = €0.70)

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