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"Immediately available with an immediate impact"

Among the most important levers for increasing the sustainability of  industrial plants are measures to improve energy and carbon efficiency. What approaches have proven successful? What measures in particular are currently being taken? Oksana Roman, Global Development Director at Bilfinger, talks about some recent developments.


What is meant by energy and carbon efficiency? And what significance does it have for increasing the sustainability of industrial plants?

Energy and carbon efficiency measures are aimed at producing the same or higher output by consuming less energy and, therefore, emitting less CO2. Given a changing climate and the need for sustainable transformation, such measures have, of course, become considerably more important. This has also led to multiple technological developments in recent years that open up new potential for saving energy and reducing CO2 emissions.

What is the best approach to ensure that the measures have the greatest possible impact?

First of all, it is important to be conscious of energy flows and their significance for the performance of your plant. The first step should always be an inventory and analysis of the current situation. Operating conditions, site and related infrastructure specifics and the determination of critical process parameters should be taken into account.

Energy efficiency audits and insulation scans should be also part of any such analysis. They form the starting point for thinking about improvement potential in the next step. These improvements can be realized through small or large changes.

With our comprehensive range of services and our many years of expertise, we can significantly increase our customers’ energy and carbon efficiency – and thus make an important contribution to achieving their sustainability goals."

Dr. Thomas SchulzGroup CEO Bilfinger SE

What measures are currently being implemented most frequently in industrial plants?

The selection of measures is, of course, highly dependent on the plant. Is it a brewery, specialty chemicals plant or a cement plant. This is why the analysis phase is so important. The focus is rarely on individual measures, but rather on a package of several measures that need to be implemented simultaneously and in a coordinated manner. There is currently a strong focus, however, on the digitalization of processes with the goal of increasing connectivity between physical plants as well on transparency and the increasing electrification of plants and operations. A significant number of industrial companies are also currently modernizing their heat exchangers, dryers, pumps or other equipment and replacing fuel-operated boilers with heat pumps or updating the entire thermal insulation. If these measures are intelligently combined, the total savings potential is enormous – and it can be achieved faster and with a lower level of capital expenditure. Efficiency measures are the quick wins. They are immediately available and have an immediate impact.

How can we avoid taking measures today that will be obsolete tomorrow? and how can we avoid lock-in?

This can only be achieved with a comprehensive approach that takes into account not only the current situation but also future developments. At Bilfinger, we have developed a net zero roadmap solution for this purpose. It considers the special features of industrial sites and processes as well as local and regional infrastructure development, looks at technological options, includes regulatory projects and, of course, also integrates economic aspects. The net zero roadmap can be used for internal decision-making or external reporting purposes and it serves as a comprehensive blueprint for those immediate and future measures to increase the energy and carbon efficiency of plants. Of course, Bilfinger also provides support for the implementation of all these measures.

Contact in case of questions:

Oksana Roman
Global Product Manager Maintenance

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