Energy efficiency also impacts communities
15-year partnership transforms Braskem’s entire energy-generation system in Brazil
Energy efficiency is more than a concept. It’s a need. It saves on natural resources and money, directly impacting businesses and communities. Inaugurated in 1972, Braskem’s raw materials center, located in the Greater São Paulo Region, is part of the company’s first petrochemical complex to begin operating in Brazil. The challenge proposed this time around was to modernize the site’s entire energy-generation system, making it more efficient and sustainable.
With an investment of R$600 million, the project was to technologically update the system that serves the cracker, the main industrial unit of the petrochemical complex responsible for producing raw materials for the chemical and plastics sectors.
“Close collaboration between all units involved, a customized business model and the most efficient integrated technologies led the partnership between Siemens and Braskem to be the right choice for this project. Our concept of energy as a service creates sustainable value for the customer,” said Tim Holt, COO of the Gas and Power area.
The project also included substituting steam turbines for high performance electric motors, supported by a new energy cogeneration plant that runs on residual gas from the petrochemical production process. This structural change allowed the industrial unit’s productive process to become energetically more efficient. The estimated reduction in energy consumption amounts to that of a city of 1 million inhabitants.
Located in the municipality of Santo André (SP), Braskem’s unit is responsible for transforming raw materials derived from the refining of crude oil, such as NAFTA, into basic chemicals like ethylene, propene, butadiene and hydrocarbon resins that give rise to several materials like plastics, used in the civil construction, automotive, hospital hygiene, food, packaging, clothing and footwear segments.
In this project, Siemens was responsible for the implementation, operation and maintenance of the entire new system for the next 15 years, and may be extended for even longer.
For Siemens, this is a reference project for the industrial market, with the implementation and operation of an energy and steam cogeneration plant with technological solutions, combining high energy efficiency and extreme operational reliability, with low emissions. And on top of that, it carries the characteristic of being an investment by the company itself.
"Braskem’s confidence in defining Siemens as the strategic partner for this challenging project is fruit of our operational and technological capability which, coupled with the attractiveness of our innovative Build, Own and Operate (BOO) model, allows Braskem to focus its resources on its business, leaving the investments necessary for engineering, installation, operation and maintenance of the Cogeneration Plant under Siemens’ responsibility," said Yuri Sanches, Siemens’ General Manager in Brazil.
Already in operation, the company’s new energy system, with combined cogeneration of energy and gas, already consumes less energy from the system and the recovery of substrates leads to less greenhouse gas emissions.
The total estimate, once the entire system is operational, is an 11.4% reduction in water consumption and 6.3% in CO2 emissions.
Leader in energy efficiency
Siemens is one of the main global producers of technologies focused on energy efficiency and resource savings, being the leader in the supply of efficient energy generation and transmission solutions, and a pioneer in infrastructure, automation, drives and software solutions for industry. Throughout its history in Brazil, Siemens has actively contributed to the construction and modernization of the country’s infrastructure. Today, Siemens equipment and systems are responsible for 50% of the energy generated nationally, 30% of digital imaging diagnostics performed in Brazil and is present in two-thirds of all Brazilian offshore platforms designed over the last 10 years.
A jatropha oil processing plant, built by a local cooperative team, was set up in the coastal region of Manabi, Ecuador, to supply the Isabela plant with biofuel — which would quickly degrade, as opposed to fossil fuels, if any spill were to occur during transport.
The result is a system that Siemens describes as unique in the world for its “high penetration”, a reference to the fact that the photovoltaic energy that the system generates during the day exceeds the current energy demand on Isabela Island. Additionally, the excess photovoltaic energy generated is stored in batteries, allowing for the complete turnoff of generation units, providing stability during the day and providing the biodiesel energy units enough time to start up once the clouds arrive.
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