Richards Bay Minerals

Project Description

Richards Bay Minerals is a subsidiary of Rio Tinto in South Africa producing Titanium Dioxide from mineral sands and operating one of the world’s largest titanium mines and smelters. A total of 24 projects were implemented during the first Energy Leadership Program leading to significant energy savings achieved primarily through load shifting projects. The breakeven point of these projects was achieved under a year.

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Client: Rio Tinto – Richards Bay Minerals
Location: Richards Bay, KZN, South Africa
Business Line: Mining, Ilmenite from Mineral Sands
Timeframe: 2013 – 2020
Power Demand: 400 MW
ELP 1 Energy Savings (to date): 7%
Breakeven: 0.8 Years

Richards Bay Minerals is a subsidiary of Rio Tinto in South Africa producing Titanium Dioxide from mineral sands and operating one of the world’s largest titanium mines and smelters. Through a referral Ensight came on-site to study the possible energy efficiency opportunities that could be undertaken to improve its competitiveness and thus ensuring its future viability by reducing the energy costs and tackling the three fold energy cost increase between 2009 and 2012.

A desktop review was performed initially to study the scope of all types of energy efficiency opportunities used on site such as electricity, coal, CO gas, catbot and diesel. Due to the positive outcome of the desktop review a diagnostic phase was performed to narrow down the opportunities by financial feasibility. The first energy leadership program at Richards Bay Minerals started in October 2013.

A total of 24 projects were implemented during the first Energy Leadership Program leading to significant energy savings achieved primarily through plant optimization projects. The breakeven point of these projects was achieved under a year.

As a result of the first successful energy leadership program a second program was created that would include both management change and capital expenditure projects, which would be financed by the national utility company, Eskom. Many of the projects for the second energy leadership program were generated as a result of an energy ideas competition that engaged all employees on site to think energy efficiency opportunities.