Business case on RECP assessment in "Elbat" CJSC date: 2024-04-06

Business case on RECP assessment in "Elbat" CJSC

“ELBAT” CJSC is a leading producer of high-quality lead-acid batteries. The company offers a wide range of batteries for cars and commercial vehicles between 40-100 A/H and 120-200 A/H, and provides technical services to select the best battery option for its clients. The enterprise’s annual production is around 15,000 batteries. Motivated to improve its environmental performance and optimize its resource usage (materials, water, energy) the company joined EaP GREEN in 2017. The programme was in line with ELBAT's environmental management system (EMS), whose objectives include minimizing the negative impact of the production systems on the environment and mitigating risks to people. Thanks to EaP GREEN, RECP is now a well-understood concept within ELBAT, and it is used to improve the company's performance, as part of its EMS. This publication shows the company’s experience reported after the monitoring exercise conducted in 2021, four years after the programme ended.

The RECP assessment examined the production site and identified several good housekeeping practices and 7 options, which were then distributed and adopted in three blocks:
RECP option 1. More efficient and effective energy use. The company conducted a combined plan to reduce natural gas and electricity consumption. By repairing the thermal pipeline network, conducting regular control of the combustion process in the lead smelting ovens, optimizing the heated surfaces of the production process, and recovering heat waste from the hot water supply, it achieved natural gas savings. On the electricity side, reducing idle times, adjusting lighting to the light demand and workstation conditions, using LED lamps, and reusing cooling water, all generated important energy savings.
RECP option 2. Water reuse options. Water streams from the cooling system of accumulators have been recovered through a close water cycle, saving water volume and energy by reducing the need for energy for heat exchange.
RECP option 3. Reduction of material and waste generation. Plastic waste (such as polyethylene, which was gathered from the accumulator packaging) was recovered and sold for recycling. Considering the company's commitment to reducing hazardous wastes, the most significant change was to introduce a lead recovery system that facilitated the extraction of lead from the sludge and pastes discarded from the operations, and its return to the production cycle. As a result, every year, 60 tons of lead are reutilized either in the production process or sold to external users.

The company will seek to implement the proposed RECP measures that were part of the earlier assessment. Options like installing infrared heating and highly efficient transformers need a more comprehensive analysis to confirm their economic and environmental feasibility. On the other hand, thanks to the monitor exercise, the opportunity to install a PV solar system with a nominal capacity of 500 kWp is under evaluation. The annual cost-saving potential would be of 38,000 EUR/year, reducing, thus, the grid electricity by 61 %. Investment in this technology is not a quick return in Armenia, with payback periods being approximately seven years. However, it ensures access to a renewable source for at least 20 years. The company is to consider these measures for future action, as it is also working on its environmental management system (EMS), for which RECP has been incorporated as a regular tool to improve environmental performance.


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