25 May 2012 - Aurecon’s process design for Dominion Salt’s Mt Maunganui plant upgrade that is saving NZ$500,000 a year in energy costs has been recognised with an innovation award by New Zealand’s Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) at the awards ceremony on 23 May 2012.
The judges said: “This was an exceptional engineering project. It was clever to get two products out for the price of one without increasing energy costs. An example of an established industry applying innovation to existing technology that over-delivers on productivity targets.”
In 2009 Dominion Salt initiated a major upgrade of their existing vacuum plant to increase the production of pharmaceutical and food grade salt by 50 per cent, while minimising capital cost and significantly improving plant operating efficiency.
Aurecon worked with Dominion Salt and equipment suppliers to develop a solution to expand the existing three-effect evaporator into a new five-effect evaporator so that pharmaceutical grade and food grade salt could be manufactured simultaneously.
“Energy savings are derived by utilising the plant’s existing steam generation capacity and recovering waste heat and putting it back into the production process”, said Paul Stephenson, Manufacturing Leader at Aurecon.
“Energy is a major input cost for manufacturers. Getting those costs down - and improving the carbon footprint of the process - improves Kiwi exporters' ability to compete internationally. Dominion Salt is an excellent example of this in action. I'm sure other companies that rely on process heat will be inspired by this to find efficiencies in their own operations,” said Mike Underhill, EECA Chief Executive.
The project was completed on time and within budget.
The EECA awards celebrate excellence and innovation in energy efficiency and renewable energy.