Avoid energy solutions that bring no business benefits
How can you ensure future growth and competitiveness for your business? The first things that come to mind are usually investments in core processes, increasing the efficiency of operations and introducing new products and innovations. Business growth almost always calls for investments in infrastructure to support growth, and environmental aspects must always be taken into account.
In the best-case scenario, many of these key elements aimed at preserving growth and competitiveness can be achieved by making the right choices and through new solutions. Today, sustainable growth and competitiveness are not necessarily achieved by doing more, but rather by doing things in a smarter way. In fact, with innovations related to industrial energy production and closed cycles, we can improve business competitiveness, promote growth and at the same time really change the world.
Here at Adven, we have developed our operating model into a true business partnership. We promise our clients a competitive edge through innovative and comprehensive solutions. Sometimes, the collaboration leads to us developing and implementing something in our client’s production process that has never even been considered before.
At the start of the collaboration, we always analyse the client’s production processes as a whole in terms of their business. We want to locate bottlenecks in both energy production and in materials or water processing where we can bring added value through energy efficiency and closed cycles. Perhaps the client’s own production process can be a cost-effective source of energy? Maybe valuable raw material is being flushed away with the wastewater? Recovery solutions and closed cycles can help us make business operations more effective, productive and sustainable – or they may even open the door to an entirely new business. Productivity is very important to us, because we often finance the projects implemented for our clients ourselves.
Closed steam cycle revolutionises Kotkamills’ evaporation process
Right now, our largest evaporation service project to date is under way. Forest industry company Kotkamills’ evolving mill is in need of new energy capacity. Our analysis revealed that the steam generated in black liquor evaporation, which is central to the mill’s production, could be utilised much more efficiently by switching partly to a closed steam cycle. Kotkamills decided to boost the efficiency of the mill’s evaporation process with help from Adven and concluded a 16-year service agreement on black liquor evaporation with Adven.
This bold way of making efficient use of steam is an entirely new approach, as a result of which, the project has earned an investment grant from the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment. The concept is presumably the only one of its kind in the world, and it is possible that we have developed the world’s most energy-efficient black liquor evaporation plant. The new evaporation plant will cut the steam used at Kotkamills’ evaporation plant in half, and it will utilise MVR evaporators, which are four times more energy efficient than typical black liquor evaporators.
Demand an energy solution that will boost competitiveness
When energy consumption and raw material waste decrease, the business naturally becomes more environmentally friendly. Closed evaporation solutions can reduce steam consumption by as much as 100 per cent from the baseline consumption, and/or can recover valuable fractions from energy and water streams. Good energy production always takes vaster ecosystems than the individual plant into account.
Industrial operators typically lack expertise in combining energy and water technology. Fortunately, help is available. It’s all about attitude, and this is no exception. Don’t settle for the first energy production option you encounter – instead, demand the most sensible and cost-effective solution that will enhance your competitiveness for decades to come.
At Adven, we want to stress that business growth does not necessarily mean increased costs and environmental impacts. Actually, what we really want is to change the world by proving that an industrial business that reduces its environmental impacts can gain a strong competitive edge either through cost-effectiveness or a new type of business.
The writer, Juha Elo, is a Sales Director in charge of Finland and new markets at Adven. His aim is to develop future energy solutions that will benefit businesses, people and the environment alike.