W. R. Grace & Company has been recognized with the Responsible Care Energy Efficiency Award from the American Chemistry Council.
The award is in recognition of Grace’s productivity efforts at its manufacturing operations in Lake Charles, La., and Baltimore (Curtis Bay), Md. Employees at both locations optimized equipment, such as vacuum pumps and spray dryers, to reduce natural gas and electricity usage by 122 Billion BTUs, equivalent to 7,327 tons (short tons) of carbon dioxide emissions. These reductions were realized throughout 2009 and the first quarter of 2010.
Grace was officially recognized in the “Energy Efficiency Program – Plant Site” category. This award is given to companies with broad programs that have components such as establishing energy teams, goal setting, communications and management support. The review committee included members of the American Chemistry Council’s Energy Team and Dr. James Eggebrecht, professor of engineering and director of the Energy Systems Laboratory at Texas A&M University.
“This work is a win-win for everyone involved,” commented William Corcoran, Grace’s Vice President, Public and Regulatory Affairs. “We are reducing our environmental footprint and helping the bottom line. The financial savings associated with these particular reductions are estimated at $1.3 million annually.”
These energy reductions assist Grace in meeting its previously announced sustainability goals. The company has targeted to reduce the energy intensity of its global operations by 20% per pound of production by 2017. To achieve this goal, Grace needs to have carbon dioxide equivalent emissions at or below 2007 levels in 2017 while meeting business growth strategies.
The Lake Charles and Baltimore manufacturing operations are two of Grace’s largest in the United States. The Lake Charles facility consists of five major production areas for sodium silicate, additives, catalysts and specialty aluminas. The facility has around 315 employees and 60 contractors onsite.
Located on 88 acres, the Baltimore site has ten production facilities that manufacture hundreds of products from four general product lines: fluid catalytic cracking catalysts, hydroprocessing catalysts, polyolefin catalysts and silicas. This location has around 525 employees and is preparing to celebrate its 100th anniversary.
Many of the products produced at these locations are ultimately utilized by customers to reduce their environmental footprints. The additives are used by petroleum refiners to reduce sulfur in gasoline and lessen emissions of sulfur oxides, nitrogen oxides and carbon monoxide from refinery units. The hydroprocessing catalysts are used in refining process reactors to upgrade heavy oils into lighter, more useful products by removing impurities such as nitrogen, sulfur and heavy metals, allowing less expensive feedstocks to be used in the petroleum refining process.
Grace is a leading global supplier of catalysts and other products to petroleum refiners; catalysts for the manufacture of plastics; silica-based engineered and specialty materials for a wide range of industrial applications; sealants and coatings for food and beverage packaging, and specialty chemicals, additives and building materials for commercial and residential construction. Founded in 1854, Grace has operations in more than 40 countries.