By Mark S. Kuhar
Lehigh Hanson Inc., Irving, Texas, announced that its Mission Valley Rock plant in Sunol, Calif., is the first aggregates production site to achieve the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Energy Star Challenge for Industry. The Mission Valley Rock plant reduced its energy intensity by 12.2 percent within one year. This accomplishment is equivalent to 28,987 mmBtus of annual source energy avoided and 817 MT of annual CO2e avoided.
The EPA estimates the U.S. manufacturing industry is responsible for nearly 30 percent of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States and spends almost $100 billion annually on energy. Under the umbrella of the Energy Star Challenge for Industry, EPA is working with individual manufacturing sites and their parent companies to fight climate change through improvements in energy efficiency.
The Energy Star Challenge is a national call-to-action to improve energy efficiency of America’s commercial and industrial buildings by 10 percent or more.
Lehigh Hanson’s Mission Valley Rock plant was able to reduce its energy intensity by taking a holistic approach to reducing energy consumption. Plant management, with support from personnel at the company’s technical competency center in Irving, Texas, completed a comprehensive review of the major systems at the plant, including crushers, conveyors, pumps, screens, feeders, fans, heating, air compressors, etc.
Based on their findings, a number of energy-related projects were planned and implemented. The projects included a mix of equipment installations, such as hot oil economizers and variable speed drives, as well as process improvements and energy optimization strategies. The plant shifted certain production tasks to reduce loads at peak demand times and set monthly demand control targets.
“We are extremely proud of being the first aggregates production site to achieve the Energy Star Challenge for Industry,” said Tom Jackson, plant manager at the Mission Valley Rock facility. “By taking a good look at how and where we were consuming the most energy, we were able to develop and implement a comprehensive energy reduction plan that was realistic and attainable.”
“Energy efficiency is a key aspect of Lehigh Hanson’s overall sustainability strategy,” said Tom Chizmadia, senior vice president of Government Affairs, Public Relations and Sustainability.
“Programs such as the EPA’s Energy Star Challenge for Industry provide our operations management teams with additional tools and resources to help identify areas for improving energy efficiency by managing energy strategically.”
Lehigh Hanson currently has 10 additional aggregates facilities participating in the Energy Star Challenge for Industry and expects more of its plants to join the program in the near future. The company operates more than 200 aggregates plants in the U.S.