Lead is booming: 10.6 million tons were extracted in 2012. Potential for huge energy savings. The Berzelius Bleihütte (BBH) in Stolberg, is one of the largest and most modern lead smelters in the world. 10.6 million tons of lead were produced worldwide in 2012, around 155,000 tons of which were produced in Stolberg, a small town near Aachen. As lead is found in so many industrial products, demand for the base metal is increasing. Starter batteries for cars, accumulators, optical lenses, machines and buildings, roof coverings and cable protection jackets all contain lead. It can be recycled any number of times without losing quality or value.
Most recently BBH has become one of the earliest adopters of the DIN EN ISO 50001 standard, certified by TÜV Rheinland.
Since the implementation of the DIN EN ISO 50001, the technology leader has professionalized its energy management considerably. Berzelius has had a solid basis for the continuous improvement process. An energy flow diagram shows the energy distribution across the entire production process, so that energy flows such as gas and electricity can be allocated to the functional areas and processing better controlled.
The balance sheet after the implementation of the DIN EN ISO 50001 standard is just as impressive as the purity of the STOLBERG lead: Berzelius has been able to save up to 66 percent of energy consumption in individual process steps, reduce its
CO2 emissions - L0
considerably and improve its energy balance by three percent annually.
In addition, BBH has optimized the processes in extracting silver from lead, invested in modern aggregates and reduced the burner capacity by one third. The results are remarkable: Specific energy consumption values have been halved and the cost structure in manufacture improved, while maintaining the same level of product quality. The annual target is still three percent in energy savings. This corresponds to a reduction of about 9 GWh each year. Berzelius Stolberg is predicting approximately EUR 1.8 million in savings for 2013 alone.
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TÜV Rheinland helped Berzelius Bleihütte to:
• realise continuous EnMS improvement
• reduce energy consumption
• explore ways of reducing costs