During 2013 we implemented projects that reduced energy use by 204,000 MMBtu, which, when combined with our 2012 results, fulfills 45 percent of our target of 664,000 MMBtu by 2020. Normalized direct energy (MMBtu/ton production) in 2013 was 1.69 and normalized indirect energy (kWh/ton production) in 2013 was 294.
Recent projects to reduce energy consumption:
Energy conservation project:
The team at the Austin (Minn.) Plant uncovered an opportunity to reduce the energy required to operate its ammonia refrigeration system by reducing ammonia discharge pressure, as well as determining various obstacles to fully utilize the condensing capacity that had been previously installed. In order to solve this problem, the team implemented a new condenser that utilized only 33 percent of capacity and lowered the discharge pressure. This project resulted in reduced compressor horsepower and associated electrical savings of approximately 2.9 kWh.
Gas conservation project:
The team at Progressive Processing (Dubuque, Iowa) identified an opportunity to reduce gas usage. Oven gas usage made up 11 percent of plant total usage, and by optimizing product output temperatures and burner use the team captured roughly 8 percent of the process savings, and will realize another 12 to 15 percent improvement in 2014. These improvements are expected to lower the overall plant gas usage by 2 percent.
Efficiency improvement project:
When it was time to make equipment replacements, the team at the Jennie-O Turkey Store Willmar Ave. Plant (Willmar, Minn.) assessed the plant’s efficiency and processes to determine opportunities for improvement. The team installed more efficient equipment as replacements were made, and implemented process and procedure changes to ensure ongoing improvements within the plant. Overall the plant’s efficiency improvements resulted in electrical savings of more than 162,000 kWh, as well as natural gas savings of more than 3,000 MMBtu.