Energy Management At Inco

CIM Bulletin, Vol. 70, No. 784, 1977

J.G. Cullain, Manager, Utilities, and K. H. B. Wenzl, Energy Management Coordinator, Ontario Division, Inco Limited, Copper Cliff, Ontario

Inco Limited is an integrated mining, smelting, refining and manufacturing company with operations located worldwide. The Ontario Division operations consist of 13 mines and 10 processing facilities located in Sudbury, Port Colborne and Shebandowan. The scope of our utilization of energy in the Ontario Division in 1976 included in excess of 2,2 billion kilowatt hours of electric power, 12 billion cubic feet of natural gas, 60 million Imperial gallons of residual oil and smaller quantities of other fuels. In addition to the primary energy consumption, waste-heat energy is recovered in various operations throughout the Division, thereby reducing our primary energy requirements. Total expenditures for primary energy alone in 1976 exceeded 60 million dollars. Energy management studies were initiated by Inco's Utilities Department in late 1972, and resulted initially in a program of electric power cost reduction. This program produced significant results by improving the use of the water available for our hydraulic generation facilities and by a comprehensive peak reduction program. Our experience showed that a program of peak power control creates an awareness of both peak and energy costs, and thereby encourages a general reduction in the electric energy consumption as well as lowering the peak demand. Energy management is a continuing program at Inco and, recently, a formal energy management policy and program was instituted. Energy management committees were formed in each plant or mine area to identify the major areas for energy consumption, thereby isolating areas with large potential energy losses, and determining immediate action which will improve the energy efficiency or reduce the energy waste within their respective areas. A decentralized program with good cross-communication between all committees was felt to be the best method of providing an on-going effective energy management program. In the future, the projections of dwindling fossil-fuel supplies in Canada and the resultant spiraling energy costs will further emphasize the need of sound energy management practices for all Canadian industry.
Keywords: Energy resources, Energy management, Conservation, Inco Limited, Electric power, Fuels, Refineries.