Recent Energy Initiatives at Inco's Ontario Operatons
Inco’s Sudbury operations consist of integrated mining, smelting and refining operations that produce approximately 250 million pounds of nickel annually and a similar amount of copper. Annual energy costs for these operations are more than $200 million (Can.)
Programs to reduce energy costs have been in place for more than twenty years.
This paper describes recent changes that have been made to the programs that have resulted in substantial energy cost reductions. They include both initiatives to target behaviour around energy use and installing modern control equipment to optimize energy consumption. Significant energy waste is rooted in historical practices and attitudes. Significant improvement has been made through a new focus to address this behaviour. Improvements in technology have offered more powerful tools to monitor and control energy use in systems and equipment, in “real time”. Examples of these applications include precise temperature control on mine air raises, mine pumping systems that take advantage of electrical rate variations, improvements to compressed air systems and remote control of mine air fans.