The CalPortland Co. cement plant in Rillito, Ariz., received the Energy Efficiency Award from the Portland Cement Association (PCA) and Cement Americas magazine as part of the 2014 Cement Industry Energy and Environment Awards. The Energy Efficiency Award recognizes a plant’s energy planning, applications of efficiency technologies and practices, and climate change mitigation efforts.
The Rillito cement plant performed a Department of Energy in Plant Training Assessment event for compressed air in 2012, and in 2013 the facility followed up on the energy savings opportunities. The study identified that a plant pressure reduction opportunity existed; the plant successfully implemented two separate air pressure reductions amounting to over a 1 percent reduction of compressed air costs. The plant also improved its overall energy efficiency by 5.78 percent in 2013 resulting in a savings of over $1 million.
Additionally in 2013, the plant improved kiln fuel efficiency by 6 percent though more extensive utilization and optimization of its Capstone expert control system, and through an aggressive quality control improvement program. The Rillito plant improved its electrical efficiency by 3.9 percent compared to 2012.
Efforts were made to “go green” by using locally provided pecan shells for kiln process bio fuel, creating a green team that has been incorporated into the energy management team that works on recycle programs, and an aggressive renewable energy program that includes the operation of eight wind turbines.
The Cement Industry Energy & Environmental Awards honor individual cement facilities that exemplify the spirit of continuous environmental improvement and support this spirit with action. These plants go beyond government regulations and local laws to ensure that their processes contributed to making their communities better places to live and work. Five categories are recognized: outreach, environmental performance, land stewardship, innovation, and energy efficiency. Additionally, PCA presents a special honor to a plant demonstrating excellence in multiple categories.