UNal heads national industry energy efficiency program
50 companies in five regions of the country have benefitted from the National Strategic Program on Energy Management Systems for the Industry (PEN-SGIE, for its Spanish acronym) of which UNal-Bogotá is one the executing universities.Bogotá D. C., 06 de junio de 2014 — Agencia de Noticias UN-
Rational and efficient energy use is one of the challenges of the Colombian industry. Photo: Víctor Manuel Holguín/Unimedios
The program participating companies belong to 15 Colombian sectors with varied sizes, technological developments and with important participation from intensive energy consuming sectors such as the plastic and chemical pharmaceutical industries.
“The purpose of the program is to foster innovation in company managerial processes –directed towards increasing productivity and competitiveness– as part of rational and efficient energy usage in Colombia. UNal also took on the responsibility of working together with 15 universities across the country,” said UNal-Bogotá Engineering Professor and main researcher of the project, Omar Prías.
The expert also says that the idea behind the project is to create not only academic capacities and knowledge but also productive in energy management.
One of the project activities was training human talent to have improved management opportunities for the industry in Colombia.
Therefore professor Prías says that it is essential to change corporate culture in issues such as production, planning, maintenance and costs as a function of energy. The issue is not how much energy is consumed but to use it efficiently in order to have an impact on company productivity.
Therefore with the program they trained 360 energy administrators which belong to the industry, universities, financial sector standardization agencies, energy companies, research, development and innovation facilities and other entities.
Furthermore they certified 177 energy system management auditors according to ISO 50001 international standards. This international standard is used for comprehensive energy management systems whose application in Colombia has turned into a Latin American example.
Likewise more than 400 general managers and strategic partners were made aware of the importance of energy management for the industry in general.
The PEN-SGIE has been going for four years and has identified potential improvement opportunities and savings linked to technological as well as management changes.
“The management scope includes altering productive practices, maintenance systems, better use of resources such as compressed air and tempered water and changes in production planning,” said the UNal Electric and Electronic Engineering Department researcher.
In these areas, he says, they found saving potentials of up to 15% over current company consumptions. At the technological innovation and conversion levels we determined potentials between 10 and 30% according to the technology status of the companies.
Twelve of the fifty companies that joined the initiative have implemented an energy management system, establishing policies and energy indicators in order to monitor performance improvements.
The National Strategic Program on Energy Management Systems for the Industry is funded by Administrative Department for Science Technology and Innovation (Colciencias, for its Spanish acronym) and the Ministry of Mines and Energy’s Mining-Energetic Planning Unit and co-funded by public utility companies such as Emgesa-Codensa, Empresas Públicas de Medellín (EPM), Electrificadora de Santander S.A. (ESSA) and E2 Energía Eficiente.
“This is one of the first programs and the most important for the energy sector which establishes an innovation concept between universities, the industry and the government. The university transfers knowledge to the productive sector, the government finances these programs and the industry innovates its production systems, ” said Prías.(Por: Fin/DMH/SUP