Eastman Chemical praised for energy-efficiency efforts

RP news wires, Noria Corporation
Tags: energy management

Eastman Chemical Company's Kingsport, Tenn., site has been taking a close look at its operations trying to find ways to be more energy efficient. As a result of this effort, the company recently received two awards for its work in energy efficiency.

The U.S. Department of Energy has recognized Eastman with a Save Energy Now Award. The site received DOE's highest level award – Energy Champion. Eastman worked with a DOE energy expert to assess key industrial process systems and identify cost-saving opportunities. By implementing the recommended actions, Eastman is reducing energy use and shrinking its carbon footprint in the near term.

Also, the American Chemistry Council presented Eastman with its Responsible Care Energy Efficiency Award. The Kingsport site's award was for Exceptional Merit, the ACC's highest award. Eastman is one of six ACC member companies to receive this recognition.

"Energy management has always been important to Eastman," said Parker Smith, vice president of Global Worldwide Manufacturing for Eastman. "But rising energy costs prompted us to take a closer look at our operation. In 2005, we selected an energy coordinator for the Kingsport site and from there, our energy management effort intensified. It's nice to have others recognize our hard work and commitment."

The Kingsport site covers more than 900 acres and manufactures hundreds of chemicals, fibers and plastics. It is one of the largest chemical manufacturing sites in North America. The plant converts coal into steam and electricity for its manufacturing operations, so energy conversion efficiency was a targeted area. In addition, natural gas is used for process heating in many manufacturing operations. The other targeted area was optimization of energy use within the manufacturing processes at the site.

Energy reduction opportunities were also found throughout the site including the use of high-efficiency compact fluorescent lighting, enhanced metering systems, improved steam traps, leak identification and repair, and improved insulation.

As a result of this project, in 2006, the site's energy intensity improved by about 5 percent, which translated into nearly $9 million dollars in annual value and a reduction of more than 248,000 tons of carbon dioxide.

The Kingsport site's Utilities Division led the energy management effort, but the entire plant participated in the effort. Similar energy management efforts have occurred at Eastman's other sites. Earlier this year, Eastman's Longview, Tex. site received similar recognition when it was awarded the Energy Leadership and Environmental Stewardship award from the Industrial Energy Technology Conference.

Eastman manufactures and markets chemicals, fibers and plastics worldwide. It provides key differentiated coatings, adhesives and specialty plastics products; is one of the world’s largest producers of PET polymers for packaging; and is a major supplier of cellulose acetate fibers. Founded in 1920 and headquartered in Kingsport, Tenn., Eastman is a Fortune 500 company, with 2006 sales of $7.5 billion and approximately 11,000 employees.

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