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130 PJ

primary energy consumption

100 PJ

Fuel consumption from non-renewable sources

Definition

Solvay’s energy consumption is made up of four components:

  • non-renewable primary fuels (coal, petcoke, natural gas, fuel oil, etc.), which are used for internal production of steam, electricity, and mechanical energy, and in manufacturing processes (coke and anthracite in lime kiln, gas in dryers, etc.),
  • renewable primary fuels (biomass),
  • purchased steam,
  • purchased electricity.

To comply with GRI requirements, steam and electricity generated from fuels and sold to a third party are deducted from the total. Energy that is purchased and sold afterwards to a third party without any transformation is not accounted for.

Reporting practices

Management approach

In the field of energy supply, Solvay has consistently implemented programs to reduce its energy consumption for many years. While Solvay has industrial activities with high energy consumption, mainly in Europe (synthetic soda ash plants, peroxides), it also operates a range of industrial activities whose energy content is relatively low as a percentage of sales price, especially in the fluorinated polymers business. The Group considers secure and competitive energy supplies to be particularly important and has taken the following strategic initiatives:

  • technological leadership in processes and high-performance industrial operations to minimize energy consumption;
  • diversification and flexible use of the different types and sources of primary energy;
  • upstream integration in steam and electricity generation (gas cogeneration, biomass or secondary fuels cogeneration, etc.);
  • periodic review of the condition of industrial sites’ energy assets and connections;
  • a strategy of supply coverage with long-term partnerships and medium- to long-term contracts, with price-hedging protection mechanisms when needed;
  • direct access to energy markets when possible (gas hubs, electrical grids, financial spot and futures exchanges);
  • regular forecast reports on energy and raw material price trends sent to business to anticipate sales prices realignments.

Solvay Energy Services optimizes energy purchasing and consumption for the Group and helps GBUs manage energy and greenhouse gas emissions.

Energy being a key factor for Solvay’s activities, Solvay has committed itself to reducing its energy consumption by 10% (1.3% per year on average) by 2020 compared to 2012 at constant activity scope. To achieve this ambitious target, Solvay has stepped up its SOLWATT® energy efficiency program, which aims to continuously optimize the industrial processes involved in its energy production and supply.

Solvay has taken concrete steps in the form of large investments, such as the start-up of the mega hydrogen peroxide (HP) plant in Saudi Arabia and the recent replacement of two gas turbines with more efficient units, one in the Spinetta cogeneration unit (Italy) and one in the Rosignano cogeneration unit (Italy).

SOLWATT® energy efficiency program

The Group has reduced its overall energy intensity by 6% since 2012. One of the key factors in this progress has been the SOLWATT® energy efficiency program. The improvement plan follows three approaches in parallel:

  • By developing the use of high-efficiency cogeneration plants, the Group is improving the generation efficiency of secondary energy such as steam and electricity. Two turbines were replaced with more efficient units in 2017, one in Spinetta (Italy) and one in Rosignano (Italy). Electrical efficiency at those two cogeneration installations improved by 4%.
  • In 2016, the second phase of the SOLWATT program was launched. By the end of 2017, the deployment of the second phase had covered most of the sites with significant energy consumption, representing 41% of Group energy consumption.
  • New and remodeled plants are optimized for energy consumption and generation.

In 2017, Solvay continued to disseminate technological breakthroughs to improve the overall energy efficiency of its operations. Following the mega hydrogen peroxide (HP) plants in Antwerp (Belgium) and Map Ta Phut (Thailand), Solvay has begun work on one of the world’s most efficient HP plants in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Indicators and objectives

Energy intensity

In 2012, the Group committed to reduce its energy consumption by 10% (1.3% per year on average) by 2020 at constant activity scope. Its energy intensity indicator covers both primary energy from fuels (coal, petcoke, coke, anthracite, fuel-oil, natural gas, biomass, etc.) and from purchased steam and electricity.

Solvay’s objective:

2020

-10%

of energy consumption at constant activity scope

Baseline 2012

Energy efficiency index – Baseline 100% in 2012

In %

 

2017

 

2016

 

2015

Scope: Energy index at constant activity scope reflects the change in energy consumption on a comparable basis after adjusting the historical scope to take into account scope changes and making adjustments for changes in production volumes from one year to the next.

Energy efficiency index

 

94

 

94

 

96

Energy consumption

In 2017, primary energy consumption was 8 PJ lower than in 2016. This change is attributable mainly to changes in the reporting scope. The classification in discontinued assets of polyamide activities that will be sold to BASF led to a decrease of 8.7 PJ. The inclusion in the reporting scope of recently acquired Cytec activities and new production sites (e.g. Jubail in Saudi Arabia) accounted for an increase of 1.1 PJ. The rest of the variation (0.6 PJ) is linked to energy savings projects and production changes.

In petajoules low heating value (PJ)

 

2017

 

2016

 

2015

Scope: This indicator shows the primary energy consumption over a given year related to the manufacturing activities of the companies that are currently consolidated (fully or proportionately). The primary energy consumption of the companies in the financial sphere represents 82% of the total primary energy consumption of all companies in the operational sphere.

Primary energy consumption

 

130

 

138

 

175

Fuel consumption from non-renewable sources

In petajoules low heating value (PJ)

 

2017

 

2016

 

2015

Scope: Consistent with financial reporting.

Solid fuels

 

46

 

47

 

49

Liquid fuels

 

0.4

 

2

 

1

Gaseous fuels

 

54

 

55

 

57

Total

 

100

 

104

 

107

In 2017, fuel consumption from non-renewable sources was 4 PJ lower than in 2016. The classification in discontinued assets of polyamide activities led to a total decrease of 5.1 PJ (3.4 for gaseous fuels and 1.7 for liquid fuels). The inclusion in the reporting perimeter of Cytec activities and new production sites results in an increase of 0.2 PJ of the gaseous fuel consumption. The rest of the variation (+-0.9 PJ) is linked to production changes.

Fuel consumption from renewable sources

In petajoules low heating value (PJ)

 

2017

 

2016

 

2015

Scope: Consistent with financial reporting.

Renewable fuel consumption

 

3

 

4

 

5

Lower steam production at biomass-fired Brotas plant (Brazil) is partly mitigated by the start of biomass-based heat production at a French plant. Overall, biomass consumption decreased by 1 PJ in 2017 compared to 2016.

Secondary energy purchased for consumption

In petajoules low heating value (PJ)

 

2017

 

2016

 

2015

Scope: Consistent with financial reporting.

Electricity

 

30

 

30

 

40

Heating

 

0

 

0

 

0

Cooling

 

0

 

0

 

0

Steam

 

20

 

22

 

23

Total secondary energy purchased

 

49

 

53

 

63

In 2017 secondary energy purchased for consumption decreased by 4 PJ compared to 2016. The classification in discontinued assets of polyamide activities led to a total decrease of 3.9 PJ (2.5 for electricity and 1.4 for steam). The inclusion in the reporting perimeter of Cytec activities and new production sites results in an increase of 0.7 PJ of steam and electricity consumption. A change in the reporting methodology of secondary energy exchanged with a third party on one site led to a decrease of 1 PJ. The rest of the variation (+0.2 TJ) is linked to production changes.

Energy sold

In petajoules low heating value (PJ)

 

2017

 

2016

 

2015

Scope: Consistent with financial reporting.

Electricity

 

11

 

12

 

11

Heating

 

0

 

0

 

0

Cooling

 

0

 

0

 

0

Steam

 

11

 

12

 

14

Total energy sold

 

22

 

23

 

26

In 2017, the sale of self-generated secondary energy to third parties decreased by 1 PJ. The reduction is explained by less use of cogeneration in France due to unfavorable market conditions and less use of the Brotas plant (Brazil).