Intelligent manufacturing needs smart energy

Science & technology

As the world looks to reduce its global emissions, the way we use energy is just as important as how we generate it.

With long-term energy demand rising throughout Asia Pacific, there’s also an increasing focus on greater energy efficiency and reducing carbon emissions to help ensure the region can meet demand and achieve sustainability goals.

Singapore’s manufacturers are striving to enhance their energy efficiency levels to meet this demand, with one company looking to take its well-established energy management system to the next level.

ExxonMobil’s integrated manufacturing complex in Singapore has managed to improve its energy efficiency by more than 25 per cent between 2002 and 2018, with the Singaporean government even recognising the company for ‘Excellence in Energy Management’ in the 2017 national energy efficiency awards.

ExxonMobil Asia Pacific chairman and managing director Gan Seow Kee said the company was able to achieve these gains at the plant by making operational improvement steps. He added that the company invested in projects such as cogeneration facilities to improve efficiency and reduce emissions, as well as using technology, including remote monitoring and leveraging data analytics, to optimise the deployment of resources and equipment.

These initiatives were developed under the ExxonMobil Global Energy Management System, or GEMS.

The Singaporean manufacturing facility improved its energy efficiency by a quarter, allowing it to do more with less.

This system provides a framework to create energy efficiency improvements through operational best practices and using new technology across ExxonMobil’s refineries and chemical plants worldwide.

One of the key technologies has been to build cogeneration plants to generate the steam and power needed to meet the facilities’ energy needs, taking advantage of highly efficient thermal cycles.

“In total, ExxonMobil’s cogeneration plants in Singapore are capable of generating more than 440 megawatts,” Gan said.

“Our third cogeneration facility made the plant on mainland Singapore self-sufficient in electricity.”

The continued energy efficiency push comes as the complex looks towards deploying new technology to create cleaner fuels and lubricant basestocks. These cleaner, high-performing products will help customers reduce their emissions and environmental impact.

“The myriad of improvements in energy efficiency at the ExxonMobil Singapore manufacturing complex from 2002 to 2018 have led to carbon emission reductions equivalent to taking more than half a million cars off Singapore’s roads over this period, and we continuously keep a look out for more of such opportunities,” Gan said.

Tags:   energy efficiencyFuels and lubricantsGan Seow KeeGEMSmanufacturingSingapore
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