For years, oil has been the fuel of choice to power off-grid manufacturing and industrial processing plants.
But’s that’s changing, with more and more businesses making the simple conversion to LPG (Liquefied Petroleum Gas). The Manufacturer finds out why.
One thing is certain in our world: industrial and manufacturing processes need energy, and very often, a lot of it. In fact it can be one of the largest variable costs of a manufacturing business.
Many plants are located near enough to towns and cities to be on the national gas and electricity grids, so their energy choices are simple, and it’s just a case of negotiating the best deal.
However, huge numbers of operations are located in rural settings off the national gas grid. So what are their choices and how can they make energy decisions that will positively impact their business?
Traditionally, they’ve had to use oil to meet energy demands. However, as many are finding out, there is another option. One that can reduce costs, lower carbon emissions and improve the production process.
That option? Liquefied Petroleum Gas, aka LPG.
Cost reduction and ROI
As a rule, LPG is a cheaper fuel than oil. According to Flogas Britain, one of the UK’s leading LPG suppliers, oil to gas conversion projects can deliver up to a 20% reduction on fuel bills, and show a return on investment in as little as 12 months.
This ROI is a huge benefit for businesses thinking of moving away from oil and weighing up the options. Some may have looked at biomass as an alternative to oil, instead of LPG, but then realise that a biomass conversion could cost up to £1m, compared to approximately £100,000 for LPG. This gives biomass an ROI of two to three years, versus less than 12 months for LPG.
Lower carbon emissions
There is a strong environmental case for LPG too. It’s cleaner than most other fuels, helping contribute to improved air quality and reduced greenhouse gas emissions. It reduces CO2 emissions by 15% compared to kerosene, by 29% compared to gas oil and by 25% when compared to heavy fuel oil (HFO).
When combined with more efficient gas burners, the savings are even higher, reaching 30-50%. LPG emits virtually no black carbon, it doesn’t pose a risk to soil and groundwater, and emits lower nitrous oxides (NOx) than most other fuels.
In October, the government’s Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy published its new Clean Growth Strategy document, outlining its intention to reduce carbon emissions from off-grid businesses, and tackle the challenges faced by businesses using oil boilers.
LPG is the lowest carbon conventional off-grid fuel available today, and therefore has a crucial role to play in turning the Clean Growth Strategy’s vision into a reality. The manufacturing industry has the opportunity to be at the very heart of that revolution.
Increase in efficiencies
The third reason LPG has become such a popular industry choice is its enhanced efficacy. LPG has a higher calorific value per tonne than oil, so the flame burns hotter, giving a quicker release of energy, and therefore lower energy consumption.
Consumption is also reduced from the second the burners are turned on; HFO needs preheating before it flows through the pipes, using energy before the production process has even started. There is no need for this with LPG.
Efficiencies are also seen by the maintenance team. LPG is a cleaner burning fuel, so no daily maintenance is required, and there is less down time.
So with the shift away from oil set to continue, the case for LPG is clear; it can save you money, cut your emissions, improve your efficiency, and on top of all that, conversion is simple, unobtrusive and inexpensive.