Potential savings in energy useBY JACQUELINE ANN SURIN
PETALING JAYA: A Malaysia Energy Centre audit conducted last year in 24 Malaysian-based factories has revealed the potential for reductions in energy costs and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.
The audits showed that the factories - from the energy-intensive sectors of cement, wood, pulp and paper, rubber, food, glass, iron and steel, and ceramic - alone consumed 5.5 million Megawatt hour per year (MWh/yr) of energy last year.
This amounted to 4.75% of the final energy demand by the industrial sector in 2001 and cost almost RM1.1bil, the Malaysia Energy Centre or Pusat Tenaga Malaysia (PTM) said in a press release yesterday.
The audit found that if cement factories - which consume the most energy among the eight sectors - implemented no-cost measures such as fixing leakages, optimising compressed air pressure, and improving fuel to air ratio for burners, their combined energy consumption could be reduced by 17%.
PTM said an additional 12.7% could be slashed if high cost measures such as the installation of energy efficient equipment and ancillary works to recover waste heat for productive use.
It said the rubber sector, consumed a total of 30,200 MWh/yr, could cut down its energy consumption by 20% merely by improving housekeeping and maintenance.
“The audits reflect the minimum cost required to make a significant change in the savings enjoyed by the factories,” PTM chief executive officer Dr Hassan Ibrahim said, adding that a number of audited factories had successfully implemented the proposed cost-saving measures.
Hassan said the audit was also aimed at identifying ways to encourage industries to cut down on CO2 emissions, which largely originate from fuel combustion for energy production.
The audit found that 24 factories alone emit 1.8 million tonnes of CO2 a year but this could be slashed by 28% if the factories adopted energy management.
Hassan said the reduction in emission of a green house gas like CO2 coincided with Malaysia’s commitment to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.
The audit is part of RM80mil Malaysian Industrial Energy Efficiency Improvement Project co-funded by the UN Development Fund, the Global Environment Facility, the Government and the private sector.