Project in pharmaceutical industry in Ireland resulted in a potential savings of 22% in energy bills

About the company

Merck Sharp and Dohme (MSD) manufacturing facility in Ballydine, County Tipperary, Ireland, is an organic synthesis plant. It carries out production in wet and dry phases. In the wet phase, liquid and solid raw materials are mixed and processed. The final product is then refined and packaged in the dry phase or finishing section.

A typical product manufacturing cycle includes chemical reaction, extraction, separation, distillation, filtration and isolation in the wet stage. After drying, milling, blending and packaging in the dry stage, the final product is dispatched to the product warehouse.

A computer system is used to control all processes throughout the entire pharmaceutical facility. This ensures product quality, high safety performance and environmental safeguards.

The plant also features energy intensive utility systems such as low and high-temperature cooling systems for cooling reactor vessels and other process streams.

As part of the environmental commitment, Merck decided to conduct a comprehensive energy audit of all its production processes and utility systems. The audit was tendered and awarded to Maximpact energy expert Gerard.

What Maximpact did

The detailed energy efficiency audit involved looking at the energy efficiency and energy-saving potential of all process and utility systems. This included process reactors, pumping systems, a waste treatment plant, a vacuum plant, a process cooling system with pumps and cooling towers, the high and low temperature chiller plant, a boiler and steam generation plant, process dryers and powder plants, nitrogen generation systems, a compressed air plant, and the lighting systems both inside and out.

The potential to generate power and heat on site was studied along with any potential renewable energy systems.

Findings of the energy audit

Energy savings amounting to 22% of the existing energy bills were identified with an overall payback period of less than 3 years.

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