Ensight Pty. Ltd: Energy Leadership Program, Richards Bay Minerals | Ensight

“A coordinated program to achieve significant energy reduction at a large operation. This effort included six different large scale initiatives and the results included a reduction of 25MW of electricity and a peak reduction of 76MW. Overall, the results were very impressive for Richards Bay Minerals and the project highlights significant milestones in energy reduction and efficiency savings.”

--Energy Manager Today Awards judge



ensight image reducedRichards Bay Minerals set two key big energy management goals in 2013: to reduce its energy costs by over 10 percent in 2015, and to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 7 percent in the same period. The project started when Richards Bay Minerals made a strategic decision to form a unique long-term energy cost management partnership with Ensight to implement a site-wide, all energy source conservation program called the Energy Leadership Program (ELP). Ensight, an energy services company (ESCO) set up a program of 31 high priority energy projects, utilizing six different types of energy saving interventions

The ELP is a fundamentally different approach to corporate energy management than that conventionally offered by an ESCO or a consulting engineering company, the company says. It considers the relationships between energy uses across the site as a whole; it sets up an ELP to focus on a whole-of-site energy transformation program of projects with project execution supported by a close working partnership between Ensight and client staff. This approach is also founded on high quality financial analysis to reveal previously unaccounted for energy system losses and waste; and underpinned by a redesign of energy systems to deliver energy services essential to cost-efficient business operation. Ensight facilitates and guide a long term (7-year), structured, on-site program of opportunity evaluation and operational change, advising and assisting clients to establish a full reporting and governance structure to oversee and implement the program from start to finish.

Ensight embeded 20 energy efficiency engineers and their support teams at RBM from October 2013 to December 2015. This team did the development phase of the project; eight engineers will remain from 2016 for the performance phase. The projects implemented addressed all energy sources (electricity, CO Gas, and diesel) and ranged from energy management, energy efficiency, energy efficient technologies, implementation of standards and procedures, process energy optimisation and behavioral change

To date, the project has reduced peak power by 76MW, and energy efficiency savings of 25MW have been achieved. Most of the projects did not require capital, and the overall investment was paid back in under 9 months, providing Richards Bay Minerals with an outstanding ROI.

The environmental impacts resulting from the RBM ELP have been significant, with over 131,000 tons of CO2 emissions and 4,500 million liters of water consumption reduced to date. Based on the current forecast, 220,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions and 17,400-million liters of water will be saved by 31 December 2015, according to Ensight.

Said one judge, “The Ensight Energy Leadership Program goes beyond typical ESCOs and client’s simple cost reduction goals to address a wide range of critical sustainability targets. It is a step in the right direction to reduce negative impacts of mining operations.”