Energy Efficiency

PVC resin producers are committed to reducing their energy consumption for the production of EDC, VCM and PVC, targeting a 20% reduction by 2020.

In 2012, the Energy Efficiency Task Force agreed with the ECVM Production Committee to adopt as a baseline the data collected by IFEU for the 2009 energy benchmarking (for energy consumption in 2007-2008). In 2014, IFEU collected ECVM members’ energy consumption data for 2012-2013 on behalf of VinylPlus.

The intermediate results of this first verification showed that the energy needed to produce a tonne of PVC had decreased by an average of 10.2%. This improvement came from a combination of factors, such as improvements in eco-efficiency, operations and equipment. On this basis, the Energy Efficiency Task Force confirmed the target for PVC resin producers by 2020 as part of the VinylPlus mid-term review.

Converters, too, are striving to increase their energy efficiency. However, it must be noted that raw materials production represents more than 80% of the energy demand in the life cycle of a PVC product. Therefore, from a life-cycle perspective, savings at the converting levels cannot have a substantial impact on the overall energy use. The complexity and variety of operations in the converting sectors mean that an overall target would be meaningless, as would targets for many of the subsectors. So PVC converters are committed to reporting annually their gains in energy efficiency.

Evaluation of available data to assess PVC converters’ energy consumption continued in 2016. The analysis conducted so far for each EuPC sector group shows that EPPA and TEPPFA can follow an approach based on the EPD data, and that for ESWA and ERFMI this exercise was ‘too complex’ for the specificity of their production processes. The assessment was still ongoing for IVK and ERPA, while investigations for EATS and EDEFA would start in 2017.

EPPA Industrial Energy Saving 2007-2013
The energy consumption of the ‘top three’ PVC window profile extrusion companies, measured over the period 2007-2013, resulted in a 23% saving for the energy consumption per tonne of PVC product (profile and dry blend). Around 145.6 MJ of electrical energy are now provided from renewable sources.

The peer group, which included 11 PVC window profile extrusion companies, reduced its specific energy consumption per tonne by 9% from 2009 to 2013.

TEPPFA’s members are committed to reducing their energy consumption by 5% from 2010 levels by the end of 2020. No significant change could be identified since the last EPD studies (2009 data), mainly due to the insufficient accuracy of the available data, even though enhanced efficiency solutions have already been implemented in production plants: new LED lighting in factories, AC motors instead of DC for extruders and more efficient cooling systems.

The next EPD update will provide more reliable data to compare the average consumption estimate of 530 kWh per tonne of product reported in the current EPD (issued in Q2 2016, based on 2013 data).