Promoting energy efficiency studies during mineral processing plant design


This paper discusses how to effectively conduct energy efficiency studies during the design of new mineral processing plants and plant expansions. Energy management studies for new plants are ideally conducted as part of the feasibility study, but can also be done at the detailed design stage prior to the purchasing of equipment. Energy management engineers work as part of the mineral processing plant design team.

Such studies usually result in energy savings of approximately 3-8% of the predicted plant's energy consumption and energy demand. Potential cost savings can be significant. A variety of mineral processing systems - crushing/grinding, pumping, materials handling, fans/blowers, compressed air and others - are assessed within this study.

Energy Management Information System (EMIS) can also be performed for the new plant or plant expansion, as an independent study. EMIS can be incorporated into the electrical and controls design of the plant.

Most Canadian Utility companies fund new plant design studies and provide financial incentives based on the predicted energy savings and incremental cost of the more energy-efficient design. A new plant energy efficiency study improves the potential for energy reduction because only the incremental equipment cost is included in the project return-on-investment calculation. After the design and construction phases, energy efficiency projects must justify the entire cost of the upgrade, which is significantly higher than the incremental cost alone.

This paper outlines the major steps of a new plant/plant expansion energy efficiency study, the available utility company incentives, and the areas yielding the largest potential energy savings.

Corresponding author: [email protected]é

This paper was rpesnted at SAG 2015. Download a copy here.