The district heating system, which will open this spring, will supply energy at competitive prices through the Fortum energy company. A total of 23 customers (mainly commercial buildings) will then be utilising waste heat from the industrial plant, which is located in Mosjøen town centre.
“Energy-intensive industry should use energy as efficiently as possible. Now we have an opportunity to free up and re-use green energy, which is totally in accordance with the EU’s new guidelines in this area,” says EHS and Project Director Ronny Vatland at Elkem Aluminium.
To enable Elkem Aluminium to work more purposefully on enhancing energy efficiency, the company has carried out a joint study in cooperation with the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) to investigate the energy balance at both Lista and Mosjøen.
“A master’s degree student, who is currently a trainee at Elkem, has analysed our energy flows and given us a detailed overview over our energy balance. Now we can make decisions on the basis of facts and choose the correct measures,” Vatland points out.
Many industrial plants are located in outlying areas, making it difficult to re-use energy for district heating projects. Buildings that are too distant from industrial plants cannot utilise district heating, as is the case at Elkem Aluminium Lista. However, the plant has implemented internal measures to improve energy efficiency. By making certain technical changes at a compressor station, the plant saves the equivalent of the energy consumption of 200 households.
“The main challenge in our business is that it is difficult to utilise low-temperature waste energy in a sensible way. We are cooperating closely with experts and the industry to find new ways of utilising waste energy,” concludes Ronny Vatland.