Industrial companies join forces

Friday January 23, 2015 11:18

Each industrial company can save on energy and raw materials. If we join forces, the effects will be even greater. One company’s residual material can be another’s raw material, for example. ECN will explore the possibilities. Collaboration with other (industrial) companies will not only improve your own competitive position, but also the position of the region. It highlights the potential of cluster strengthening.

Accumulating opportunities
The global competitive position of industrial companies in the Netherlands has been under pressure for quite some time. This is due to the relatively high energy prices in the Netherlands and Europe, among other factors. Resource and energy efficiency therefore offer opportunities, as business development manager Rebecca Groen explains. “We have already seen many companies substantially improve their own energy consumption in recent years. Nevertheless, we believe that a step further is possible. This can be accomplished by joining forces with complementary sectors in the region or in the chain. If you work together, you will eventually have an accumulation of opportunities.”

The overall picture
Together with consortia, ECN maps the entire input and output of raw materials and energy. For example the input and output of companies that operate in a single region, but are otherwise not associated. Rebecca: “We often don’t have the overall picture yet. We throw away so much residual material that is useful to others. It’s a real shame.” ECN will go to work in two steps. “We will first analyse the processes at individual companies. You could describe this as a type of audit for raw materials and process conditions. What is the temperature of the residual heat, for example? If we know this for all companies, we can explore the possibility of sharing (residual) waste flows. The second step is technology. How do you make symbiosis possible? How do you ensure that the residual heat of company A is available for company B at another location? Separating gases or fluids is sometimes necessary. ECN has a lot of expertise in these fields. We develop the technology for a tailored solution that truly helps companies make progress. And let’s not forget the related environmental benefits!”

For example: Smart Delta Resources
ECN’s regional approach has been successful. In Zeeland, for example, government and industry have joined forces to establish a competitive energy and raw materials position. Eleven participating companies are working together on developing smart solutions that improve the competitive position and employment landscape in the region. Programme leader Ger Spork: “ECN plays a key role among different companies, thanks to its extensive knowledge of and experience in energy savings in the industrial sector. The opportunities exist; they must now be exploited for the economic benefit of companies and the region. This approach also addresses a social goal. Synergy enables a significant CO2 reduction and is an example for the circular economy.”

Due to its independent position in the market and extensive expertise in all sectors, ECN is an excellent partner. Would you like to know more about industrial symbiosis opportunities? Rebecca Groen will be happy to tell you more.

Category: December, Corporate, Biomass, Energy efficiency