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Lehigh Hanson Inc. recently announced that its aggregates plant in Downingtown, Pa., has achieved the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) Energy Star Challenge for Industry.
The Downingtown plant, which has reduced its energy intensity by 10.7 percent within two years, becomes the third Lehigh Hanson aggregates facility to earn the Energy Star Challenge for Industry in the past two years. The company also has the unique distinction of being the only aggregates producer to have any of its facilities achieve this recognition.
"We are extremely proud of achieving the Energy Star Challenge for Industry," said Randy Miles, plant manager at the Downingtown facility. "By really digging into the processes that used the most energy, we were able to develop and implement a reduction plan that focused on optimizing energy usage at every stage of production."
The Energy Star Challenge is a national call-to-action to improve energy efficiency of America's commercial and industrial buildings by 10 percent or more. The EPA estimates that the U.S. manufacturing industry is responsible for nearly 30 percent of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States and spends almost $100 billion annually on energy.
Under the umbrella of the Energy Star Challenge for Industry, the EPA is working with individual manufacturing sites and their parent companies to fight climate change through improvements in energy efficiency. Lehigh Hanson currently has eight additional aggregate facilities participating in the Energy Star Challenge for Industry and expects more of its plants to join the program in the near future. The company operates more than 200 aggregates plants in the U.S.
Lehigh Hanson's Downingtown plant was able to reduce its energy intensity by taking a hands-on approach to assessing the facility's energy consumption and developing an ambitious but realistic strategy to achieve its reduction goal. Plant management, with support from personnel at the company's technical competency center in Irving, Texas, completed a comprehensive review of the major systems at the plant, including crushers, conveyors, pumps, screens, feeders, fans, heating, air compressors, etc. Based on their findings, a number of energy-related projects were planned and implemented. The projects concentrated on optimizing the pumping systems, demand management strategies, minimizing parasitic loads, as well as process improvements. The plant shifted certain production tasks to reduce loads at peak demand times and set monthly demand control targets.
"Energy efficiency is a key aspect of Lehigh Hanson's overall sustainability strategy," said Tom Chizmadia, senior vice president of government affairs, public relations and sustainability. "Programs such as the EPA's Energy Star Challenge for Industry provide our operations management teams with additional tools and resources to help identify areas for improving energy efficiency by managing energy strategically."
For more information, visit www.lehighhanson.com.