At its manufacturing site in Leeds, Sulzer Pumps manufactures, tests and services state of the art pumps for industries such as oil and gas, water and waste water, and power generation. Extensive aftermarket services are then provided from Leeds and three service sites around the UK.
Because of the sheer scale and complexity of its products, Sulzer Pumps consumes a large amount of power.“The energy we use not only powers our manufacturing facilities and other buildings, but is also essential for testing our products. As some of our medium sized pumps can empty an Olympic sized swimming pool in 10 to 15 seconds, you can imagine the power that is needed to test them on an ongoing basis. The energy bill at our Leeds site alone was £850,000 in 2010,” said Environmental Service Manager Darren Amos.
With power consumption of this magnitude, the need to reduce costs and cut CO2 emissions was a powerful incentive to examine energy usage across the entire Sulzer UK group.
Darren began looking at energy consumption across the group, and made an important discovery.“What became apparent is that we didn’t have a coherent energy procurement strategy or policy,” he said.“Every site across the group was responsible for its own energy procurement, and we were consequently using every major energy supplier as well as many of the smaller ones.”
Recognising the financial and environmental gains that could be made for the group, the decision was made to bring in a specialist who could effectively manage the complexities of energy procurement for the business and advise on long-term improvement in energy and environmental performance.
Acting for the group, Darren and colleague Peter Lomax in Supplier Management began to look for a suitable partner, and their requirements were precise.They wanted a leading player in the field who could offer a comprehensive range of energy management and efficiency services, supported by a proven depth of experience.“Obviously cost was a part of the equation,” he explained.“But we were looking for a quality organisation that would provide a quality service in the long-term.”
Four companies were selected for tender including EEF who presented their new service, EEF Energy Services, part of the EEF Advantages programme and delivered by partners, Ener-G.
“We have been working with the EEF on various health, safety and environmental aspects and had tremendous respect for their expertise, knowledge and professional approach,” Darren continued.“And one of the key selling points for us was that EEF had done all the hard work in terms of due diligence, having been through an 18 month process before choosing Ener-G as their preferred partner. This gave us an extra level of assurance.”
EEF were awarded the contract in April 2012 and began working to deliver real business benefits.“The first stage was to carry out an audit to get the full picture of Sulzer’s current processes and exact position,”said Nick Linklater from Ener-G.
Based on that information, Ener-G recommended bringing all energy procurement into a single contract, and implementing a more sophisticated procurement process to deliver cost savings, better control and longer-term cost forecasting.With a total group-wide annual spend of over £3 million, the bidding to become the sole power supplier was highly competitive. On 1 October 2012 the vast majority of sites began receiving power under the new contract.The remainder will migrate to the new supplier as EEF winds up previous contracts.
For the next four years Ener-G will be providing Sulzer with a dynamic procurement service, however, this is just the beginning of Sulzer’s vision for energy and environmental performance. Going forward EEF will play the leading role in this journey.
Work has now begun on an in-depth analysis of energy efficiency at all the UK sites.“This will enable us to understand how efficient individual sites are, the attitude towards energy consumption and reduction across the group and the potential impact of energy reduction projects,” Nick explained.“We can then help Sulzer develop and implement a sustainable long-term energy strategy.”
In the longer-term, Sulzer and EEF Energy Services will explore alternative power generation solutions that will eventually enable the company to move off the national grid. All options from solar and wind generation through to ground source heat pumps and combined heat and power will be evaluated to determine the best result.
- Initial saving of £453,000 on commodity prices over the next 12 months
- Greater visibility on energy usage patterns across the UK
- Reduce time spent over highly complex energy purchasing
- Effective compliance management of Sulzer’s Energy
- Efficiency Scheme through EEF Energy Services
- Increased knowledge on alternative power generation and the long-term benefits of energy efficiency improvements
About the company
Sulzer Pumps is one of five divisions of the Sulzer group of Switzerland and one of the world’s leading pump manufacturers. Sulzer Pumps UK designs, manufactures, tests and services custom engineered state of the art pumps for the oil and gas industry, as well as servicing pumps for other industries such as water, waste water, and power generation from its manufacturing site in Leeds. The Leeds site is complemented by three further service centres located in Aberdeen, Bristol and Maidstone, and between them they employ some 800 staff across the UK.
Sulzer UK Holdings is the umbrella company for all Sulzer group operations in the UK