A petroleum refinery operated by ConocoPhillips in Billings, Mont., is the first in the nation to earn the Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star for superior energy performance. The refinery's design, operations and maintenance practices place the refinery in the top 25 percent of refineries nationwide in terms of energy efficiency.
“I applaud ConocoPhillips' Billings refinery for being one of America’s energy all-stars,” said EPA regional administrator Robert E. Roberts. “Energy is a significant expense for manufacturers, and this facility is demonstrating that energy efficiency is a solid economic and environmental investment."
A combination of the facility's energy-efficient design and a focus on sound operations places the Billings refinery's Energy Intensity Index (EII) in the top 25 percent of refineries with similar crude capacity. The plant is particularly efficient in capturing and recycling thermal energy, a large requirement in making fuel. Specifically, the refinery uses a heat-recovery system that captures heat from a crude tower to preheat cold crude – a measure that yields considerable energy savings. The plant also has an intensive steam trap maintenance program, a practice that provides for the efficient separation of condensed water from the steam system and returns hot water to the boilers to generate more steam.
Energy Star is a government-backed program that helps businesses and consumers protect the environment through superior energy efficiency. In 2006 alone, American consumers and businesses, with the help of Energy Star, saved $14 billion and prevented greenhouse gas emissions equal to those from 25 million vehicles.
EPA awards the Energy Star to refineries in the top 25 percent nationwide for energy efficiency based on the Solomon Associates Energy Intensity Index system (“Solomon-EII”). EPA works closely with the petroleum refining industry as well as eight other industries to promote strategic energy management at all levels across corporations.
The manufacturing sector is one of the newest parts of the Energy Star program, a growing list of partners vital to meeting the Bush Administration’s goal of reducing greenhouse gas intensity by 18 percent by 2012. EPA works closely with manufacturing partners to promote effective energy management strategies and provides tools and assistance to help facilities reduce energy use. Manufacturing plants that earn the Energy Star measure, track and benchmark energy use compared to similar plants nationally. Many participating companies report substantial environmental, cost and energy benefits while receiving recognition for their leadership. Partners expected to join in upcoming months include food processing plants, pharmaceutical manufacturers, and water and wastewater treatment facilities.
The manufacturing sector consumes about one-third of the energy used in the U.S. and contributes about 28 percent of greenhouse gas emissions. U.S. petroleum refiners alone spend more than $8 billion annually on energy. If energy use across the industry were reduced by five percent, the energy saved could produce electricity for over one million households and prevent the emissions of more than 25 billion pounds of greenhouse gases.
For more information on Energy Star and its work with manufacturers, visit: www.energystar.gov/industry.
ConocoPhillips' Billings refinery employs more than 300 people and has a crude oil processing capacity of 58 MBD. The refinery produces a high percentage of transportation fuels, such as gasoline, jet fuel and diesel, as well as fuel-grade petroleum coke. Finished petroleum products from the refinery are delivered via company-owned pipelines, railcars and trucks. Pipelines transport most of the refined products to markets in Montana, Wyoming, Utah, Colorado and Washington.