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Actsys's strong commitment pays off
A NEW award category introduced at this year's EENP Awards is Outstanding Energy Services Provider of the Year. And one of the two inaugural winners of this award is Actsys Process Management Consultants Pte Ltd. The new EENP award recognises outstanding energy-service providers who contribute to energy-efficiency market development and whose services to their clients have led to outstanding success in improving energy performance.
Actsys has built long-term relationships with its clients and is committed to supporting them. For instance, it spent two years assisting one of its clients to make sure that the date-measurement instrumentation was accurate, so that the simulation models could be built based on accurately measured data.
In addition, Actsys also made significant contribution to energy-efficiency capability in the country by providing training courses, advocating energy efficiency and the adoption of ISO 50001, and through managing director Norman Lee's involvement in professional working committees for energy efficiency.
Mr Lee started Actsys in 2001, after a 20-year career in Shell Eastern. The company provides process consultancy services to refineries, petrochemical plants and power plants, primarily to improve their energy efficiency.
"We operate regionally as well and our major customers in Singapore include Tuas Power, Sembcorp, Senoko Energy, Shell Bukom, Petrochemical Corporation of Singapore, Seraya Chemicals and Singapore Refining Company," says Mr Lee.
"We have been accredited by NEA as an energy-service company since 2005 and have carried out numerous energy audits that are co-funded by the Energy Efficiency Improvement Assistance Scheme from NEA."
Asked for his comments on his company being the inaugural winner in the new award category, Mr Lee says: "We are very pleased to be recognised for our contributions to the industry."
The award, he says "is in recognition of the energy auditing, performance monitoring and training services that we have provided to the power, refineries and petrochemical industries. We have also contributed to NEA's efforts to publicise ISO50001 and showcasing of energy-efficiency improvement success stories."
Mr Lee feels that improving energy efficiency is one of the most cost-effective ways to address the challenges of energy cost, energy security and global climate change.
"Compared with investments in renewables or building new plants, energy-efficiency improvement is the most cost-effective way of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and energy cost simply because there is significant potential for energy-efficiency improvement in existing industrial plants and building installations."
He adds that these would include operational adjustments or minor corrective-maintenance and these always occur due to lack of operational discipline and the natural mechanical degradation of equipment.
Plants that operate with a significant difference from design conditions will tend to operate at lower efficiencies. Such plants will benefit from retrofits that address new operating conditions. Similarly, older plants that were designed in the days of US$20 per barrel crude also have much room for improvement through plant modifications that incorporate the latest energy-efficiency technologies.
"Besides the obvious impact on the bottom line, being energy efficient and being able to demonstrate it contribute to a sense of corporate social responsibility among staff. This has a positive impact especially on the millennials who feel strongly about environmental-sustainability issues," says Mr Lee.
Promotion of energy efficiency in the company can be achieved effectively by the implementation of a well-designed energy management system, eg ISO50001. This would include having the right key performance indicators for energy efficiency and corresponding targets and making these visible throughout the organisation, he adds.
For promoting energy efficiency, Mr Lee believes that implementation of the international standard for energy management, ISO50001, will bring about benefits for the process industry.
"There has been significant pushback by Singapore companies against ISO50001 due to concerns of heavy administrative efforts and some companies' views that their own systems for energy management are just as good," says Mr Lee.
"We would like to work with operating companies to change these perceptions as ISO50001 is the best practice and those who are doing well with their own system could already be compliant with ISO50001."
- Mr Lee is active in the Institute of Engineers Singapore, being a Fellow and Council Member. He is also chairman of the institute's Energy Technical Committee and the Chemicals and Process Engineering Technical Committee.