Energy efficiency takes a team
Sponsored Content - Nov 23, 2019 - Think Local

Photo: Contributed
“Our goal is to continuously improve our operations. By taking a collaborative approach, our FortisBC key account manager helps us identify and fund energy-efficiency opportunities,” said Molycop Canada senior engineer Mike Gregson (right), along with Molycop Canada metallurgical engineer Lukas Fleming (centre) and FortisBC account manager Rajoo Jagtap (left).

Practical advice, expertise and ongoing customer support provided by FortisBC means Molycop Canada can keep growing its business while optimizing its energy needs, especially for natural gas.

With operations across the globe, Molycop is the largest and most experienced supplier of mining consumables and associated services worldwide. At its Canadian plant in Kamloops, alloy steel bars are forged into grinding balls in a proprietary process that relies on natural gas furnaces that operate non-stop.

This energy-intensive process has united Molycop Canada and FortisBC in an ongoing quest to boost efficiency while ensuring profitability and sustainability.

“Our goal is to continuously improve our operations,” Molycop Canada senior engineer Mike Gregson says. “By partnering with us—and taking a collaborative approach—our FortisBC key account manager helps us identify and fund energy-efficiency opportunities.”

Continuous improvement results in energy savings

Natural gas has been a part of Molycop Canada’s operations since 1986, but it’s been in the last decade that the company has deepened its commitment to energy efficiency. FortisBC has been there to support them, from pre-approval for energy studies to incentives for energy-efficiency upgrades.

In 2012 Molycop Canada was one of the first participants in FortisBC’s industrial energy efficiency programs. With incentives from FortisBC, a plant-wide energy audit of the Kamloops facility was completed.

Recommendations resulting from this energy study helped them design and build a second, more energy-efficient plant beside their existing facility in 2015. Molycop Canada received a combined incentive of $190,000 to implement energy-efficiency measures, which are estimated to save about 22,500 gigajoules of natural gas annually.

The pursuit of improvements continued in 2017, when plant-wide audits of both facilities and then a feasibility study recommended upgrades in the original facility. FortisBC supported the studies and capital upgrades with combined incentives of approximately $250,000, which is expected to reduce natural gas usage by 8,900 gigajoules per year once completed this year.

“Our key account manager, Rajoo Jagtap, helped us understand how we could connect with FortisBC to benefit from its programs and incentives,” Gregson says. “He made it easy to navigate the FortisBC application process, and the energy audit approval process was quick; four days from start to finish.”

Better for business; better for the environment

As part of Molycop Canada’s corporate best practices, energy-saving measures implemented at one facility are communicated and promoted across the globe. This is key to the company’s commitment to improve its environmental performance and use natural resources more efficiently across all of its operations.

In Kamloops, Molycop Canada continues to actively explore energy-saving opportunities that fit with its goals to improve processes, increase production and remain competitive in the market.

Along with the 2015 plant expansion, it has implemented several low or no-cost energy-saving measures identified in the energy studies, resulting in estimated savings of 13,500 gigajoules of natural gas per year.

“Optimizing our use of natural gas and reducing our carbon footprint are flip-sides of the same coin,” Molycop Canada metallurgical engineer Lukas Fleming says. “We look for solutions that make sustainable sense both for our business and for the environment.”

More information about FortisBC rebates and custom programs for commercial and industrial customers can be found on the company’s website.

This article is written by or on behalf of the sponsoring client and does not necessarily reflect the views of Okanagan Edge.

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