Focus on Innovation helps Koch Companies Improve Energy Efficiency

Companies Improve Energy Efficiency

The role of business in society is to help people improve their lives by producing products and services they value more highly than their alternatives, and to do so while consuming fewer resources. – Koch Industries, Inc. Vision

WICHITA, Kan. – Koch Industries, Inc. and its companies continue to discover and implement innovative solutions designed to reduce energy usage, improve energy efficiency and reduce resource consumption. The initiatives incorporate a mix of energy best practices, waste elimination and process optimization ideas.

“Energy management is a key component of our operations excellence strategy,” said Ernie Schutt, managing  director for operations excellence for Koch Industries.

By working together and applying the Guiding Principles  of our company’s Market-Based Management® philosophy, we promote energy management as a key source of
value creation and build a sustainable energy management capability in the process.

Koch companies have been sharing energy success stories internally since 2011 and recently reached the milestone of 100 successes, representing annual energy savings of nearly $46 million. While some of these initiatives include replacing outdated or inefficient equipment, several feature innovative optimization efforts with little or no capital investment.

  • The Flint Hills Resources refinery in Corpus Christi, Texas, optimized process operation and  reconfigured process equipment to improve heat recovery, saving over $1 million per year in energy costs.
  •  At the INVISTA facility in Chattanooga, Tenn., three coal-fired boilers were replaced with two natural gas-fired boilers and a series of energy saving projects were implemented. From 2010-2013, the site’s energy intensity was reduced by 30 percent, air emissions were reduced by 75 percent and $1.7  million in energy costs were saved.
  • The Georgia–Pacific paper mill in Camas, Wash., has reduced both electrical and thermal energy use through waste heat recovery, combustion efficiency, and process temperature adjustments. These initiatives helped lower the mill’s energy intensity by 13.5 percent over the last three years. The mill was recognized by the State of Washington with a Leadership in Energy Performance Award for 2013.
  • The INVISTA plant in Maydown, Northern Ireland, conducted a series of process experiments that allowed it to lower steam pressure requirements in a single process unit, resulting in an improvement in overall site energy efficiency.

“Energy efficiency and reduction strategies represent great examples of excellence in action,” added Patricia Shaw, director of environment, health and safety.

They reduce our environmental footprint, save money and often include innovative techniques and technologies.

In addition to sharing success stories, employees from Koch companies participate in an Energy Leadership Conference where energy team leaders receive recognition for superior results in energy efficiency.

About Gordon Smith
Gordon's expertise in the area of industrial energy efficiency and alternative energy. He is an experienced electrical engineer with a Masters degree in Alternative Energy technology. He is the co-founder of several renewable energy media sites including Solar Thermal Magazine.