Press releases


Tata Chemicals Europe shortlisted for Northern Powerhouse award

Tata Chemicals Europe is delighted to announce that our Energy business has been shortlisted for Energy Company of the Year Award at the UK Northern Powerhouse Exhibition. 

The awards are designed to highlight collaboration between - and within - companies in the Northern Powerhouse geographical area - collaborations which ultimately lead to growing the Northern Powerhouse and helping to re-balance the economy.

Managing Director Martin Ashcroft and MP Graham Evans unveil the Winnington CHP Steam Turbine in September 2016

In 2013, Tata Chemicals acquired Winnington CHP so that it could take full control of its energy costs. Since then, the company’s energy team has maximised the plant’s efficiency and thereby dramatically reduced its carbon footprint. In the last year, our Energy business saw a number of key successes and innovative projects come to fruition and subsequently give Tata Chemicals Europe as a whole a boost.

  • Key achievements of the energy business include:
  • Providing existing and new customers with an improved service, including setting up billing and information systems to allow customers to manage their energy costs. These customers include other major chemical companies which form part of the Northern Powerhouse.
  • Development of relationship with Gazprom in the complex area of gas purchasing and electricity selling, leading to arrangements to limit the risks associated with market changes.
  • Innovative and creative financial and weather modelling to predict our requirements and minimise the cost of energy imbalances.
  • Leading on carbon reduction across all the TCE businesses, highlighting opportunities, championing projects and facilitating/contributing to reducing TCE's carbon footprint.
  • Reducing the cost base of the CHP plant.
  • Development of complex algorithms to optimise how the CHP runs in different circumstances, so as to minimise the impact when steam customers come off line. This, along with the new steam turbine, has led to a paradigm shift in overall efficiency and profitability.
  • Working alongside the Cheshire West and Cheshire Council on an energy blueprint in order to develop win-win opportunities in the mid Cheshire region.
  • Contributed to Government’s 2050 decarbonisation roadmap strategies.
  • Gained Capacity Market agreements for the first two years of the scheme and prequalified for the next two auctions.
  • Identified solar and energy storage opportunities which are now in our business plan for the next 12 months.

Last September, we officially opened a new £5.5m turbine which will efficiently provide energy for our Soda Ash business in Cheshire, UK. The turbine, the beneficiary of a £2.5m Government European Regional Growth Fund grant, is housed in our Winnington CHP plant – which as a result performs at more than 80% efficiency. The £5.5m investment has transformed the CHP plant, making it one of the most efficient CHP plants in the UK. The project will ensure that the company's soda ash business will receive affordable energy for the next decade.

General Manager for Energy Peter Houghton said: "It's wonderful to be shortlisted for this award because we are all so proud of the hard work our team has put in over the last few years. Projects that have been managed and completed by the Energy team have had really positive effects on the rest of Tata Chemicals Europe. For example, the turbine has allowed us to ensure business stability for years to come. It's fantastic for the team to be recognised in this way."

General Manager for Soda Ash at Tata Chemicals Europe, Alan Runciman, said: “Anyone involved in synthetic soda ash manufacturing will know that it’s an energy-intensive industry, where the cost of energy makes up the largest part of the overall cost base.

"This turbine allows us to provide power for our manufacturing process and produce soda ash much more efficiently.”

The soda ash business has reduced its carbon footprint by 10% in the past three years and a further 15% is planned for the next five years. The turbine will maintain Tata Chemicals Europe’s position as one of the world’s lowest carbon emitters from a synthetic soda ash process.

The Northern Light Award winners will be announced at the Conference Dinner in Manchester on the evening of the 21st February 2017, the evening of the first day of the next UK Northern Powerhouse International Conference and Exhibition.

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