News 2012

Continued success in energy audits: One of Lao’s largest salt factories is becoming more efficient in energy consumption

In June 2012, a Sunlabob team conducted an energy-audit aiming to analyze the main energy consumption of Veunkham Salt Co., one of the biggest salt producers in Laos and member of the Lao Salts Producer Group.

In order to identify potential energy savings, the energy audit team focused on the salt fabrication facility, electrical equipment and operation staff behaviors.

The main devices of interest were all those that consume the most energy.

Especially the coal and sawdust fueled salt boilers that currently work very inefficient were eye-catching to the team of engineers.

Salt dryers and storage facilities are equipped with electric resistors and all round the clock lighting, where energy consumption can significantly be improved.

In general, salt processing plants use large amounts of water that needs to be pumped to various ponds commonly using energy intensive water pumps. Water pumping therefore has one of the highest return ratios with increased energy efficiency.

Thanks to this initial audit at the Veunkham facility, the main energy consumption points were identified and an initial outlook on possible energy savings was made. Initial measurements show, that there is big energy saving potential, thus this audit will serve as basis for an in-depth energy audit analysis.

In the next phase, Sunlabob’s energy audit team will go back to the site with specific measurement tools to survey in detail all boilers, buildings and equipment with a special emphasis on boilers. During this on-site data collection the energy audit engineers measure the exact electrical consumption per area, which can estimate the potential savings and find adapted, effective and affordable solutions that will ensure maximum reduction of consumption for each energy conservation opportunity.

Sunlabob, together with the GIZ recently started a Private Public Partnership program for the promotion and exposure of energy efficiency and the increased potential of energy savings in Laos. This audit portrays the importance of energy efficiency in Vientiane and contributes to a joint energy efficiency event held in May 2012, targeting the private and public sector.

The Veunkham Salt Co. factory site, located in Vientiane province, is a production complex comprising the complete chain of salt fabrication, from brine pumping underground to final packaging of processed salt for expedition. The facilities are intensively used for the daily fabrication of salt. Veunkham Salt Company is one of the biggest salt producers in Laos, with an annual capacity of 4,500 tons of salt.

As the electricity rate of the public utility provider in Laos is increasing dramatically, energy audits show increased popularity and Sunlabob can use its experience as the leading provider of renewable energies and energy efficiency services in Laos since 2008.