Improving the energy efficiency of the petroleum industry in the Netherlands

As part of the Multi-Year Agreement on Energy Efficiency for EU ETS industries (MEE) the Netherlands’ five refineries, organised in the Netherlands Petroleum Industry Association VNPI, have agreed to review options for improving the energy efficiency of their operations. To this end three studies have been carried out, together covering the entire oil supply chain occurring in the Netherlands.

The present report, prepared at the request of NL Agency, integrates the results of these three studies. It provides a comprehensive picture of potential energy savings in the oil supply chain, insight into the feasibility of the aspirations of the MEE agreement and a review of the steps that can be taken to realise the theoretical savings potential. In this study the total cost-effective savings potential is estimated at approx. 28 PJ, or around 19% of total refinery energy consumption. The measures offering greatest potential are various options for improving the energy efficiency of refinery operations, cogeneration at refineries, supply of CO2 and heat from refineries and hydrogen facilities, and use of biomass as a fuel feedstock at refineries.

The conclusion to emerge is that it will be difficult but not entirely impossible to secure the MEE target of a 20% improvement in energy efficiency. All the cost-effective measures identified will then need to be implemented, however, and the respective savings potential estimated for each must indeed be achieved.