An energy-efficient facility
Energy saving and energy efficiency are key priorities and strategic assets for us, enabling us to couple higher environmental sustainability with competitiveness.
Our internal energy demand consists of the combustion of petroleum products and the use of electricity and thermal energy (steam).
Our commitment to improving energy efficiency started in the late 1970s and early 1980s,
when we began to invest heavily in heat and energy recovery.
Over the years, we have implemented major heat recovery projects. These, together with operational improvements have enabled us to reduce steadily energy consumption, thus contributing to the protection of natural resources and the ecosystem.
In 2018, thanks to these investments, Sarlux received again from the Energy Services Operator (GSE) about 18,450 energy efficiency credits (aka white certificates), under the incentive scheme for energy efficiency investments.
Another step to improve our energy performance is to have a full picture of our facility’s energy consumption, to identify better potential areas of improvement in the short, medium and long period.
To do this, we developed the Energy Management Dashboard, an energy consumption monitoring system that uses actual data, processes it according to type of plant and energy carrier, and produces comprehensive and detailed energy analyses.
Another indication of our commitment on this front is our decision to adopt an Energy Management System (EMS) under UNI EN ISO 50001:2011, to improve our energy performance by reducing energy consumption, emissions and costs, and improving the efficiency of our energy-intensive production processes.
In 2018, the Energy Management System was certified by RINA and IQNET as compliant with ISO 50001:2011.
Energy efficiency of the Sarlux integrated cycle
Taken as a whole, the South plants, the IGCC plant and the North plants form a single integrated cycle that transforms hydrocarbon inputs into refined petroleum products, petrochemical products and energy.
The Sarlux integrated cycle
The energy efficiency of the integrated cycle is given by the ratio of energy input to energy output,
where energy output is the sum of the energy content of the refined petroleum products and energy sold.
The difference between energy inputs and outputs is mainly due to the internal consumption of energy absorbed by production processes and to energy use by ancillary activities.
The Sarlux integrated cycle is highly efficient, with a total value of over 91% in the last four years.
Sarlux produces electrical energy for the national grid, meeting over 46% of Sardinia’s demand.
Energy efficiency of the IGCC plant
The Sarlux Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC) plant generates electricity for resale and hydrogen and steam for use in the refining cycle from heavy hydrocarbons (tar), a refinery product that would otherwise be used to produce fuel oil.
The tar is gasified, that is purified and transformed into syngas, a clean synthesis gas similar to methane.
The syngas is used to power the turbines and produce electrical energy.
The IGCC is a combined cycle cogeneration plant, producing both electricity to be fed into the grid and hydrogen and steam to power the refinery’s plants.
The energy efficiency of the IGCC plant is given by the ratio of the energy input into the IGCC – in the form of hydrocarbon feedstock and electricity consumed – to the energy output from the IGCC in the form of electrical energy, steam, hydrogen and sulphur.
The IGCC plant’s energy efficiency is far higher than the level achievable by traditional thermoelectric power plants.