The LafargeHolcim group operates a large cement plant in Obourg, Belgium. The plant runs throughout the year, but must scale up production during the peak summer season. Management had no clear view how different
plant components impacted energy demand.
Demand Side Response (DSR) from REstore (now part of Centrica Business Solutions) provides a real-time view of energy consumption from the different components within the Obourg plant.
Centrica Business Solutions’ expert teams worked alongside Obourg management to understand the way the plant works. This helped define operational boundaries for all flexible assets and implement a plan of action that maximises energy value, while ensuring production processes are not impacted.
DSR enables LafargeHolcim to operate the Obourg plant more flexibly. If needed, it can switch off its large clinker mills and smaller coal and slag mills during periods of peak energy consumption, with full transparency of the energy consumption and cost implications. For the first time there is clarity over energy costs for different plant components.
There is also a national impact. With the Belgian media warning of electricity shortages in the winter, potentially impacting businesses and citizens, Centrica Business Solutions was able to introduce the plant management to the various reserve programmes offered by transmission system operator, Elia. As an incentive, in exchange for its flexibility, Elia could offer Obourg an indemnity to cover the cost of any lost production.
In addition, Centrica Business Solutions established seamless automation with no need for human intervention, real-time monitoring of any curtailment and full transparency on expected payments.
We can place a precise value on our energy usage. This means we can be more flexible in the way we operate the Obourg plant. We’re optimising our energy use, year round.”
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