Advancing Decarbonisation and Energy Efficiency in Ireland’s Biopharmaceutical Industry
EM3 was engaged by a leader in the global biopharmaceutical sector, to conduct an energy audit and develop a climate action strategy for their global supply chain and operations headquarters in Ireland.
The energy assessment covered the entire manufacturing site, including two major manufacturing facilities: the fill-finish building and the biologics building. The energy audit report included the engineering and operational aspects of the project along with a comprehensive review of the financial viability. With this project EM3 showcased the attractive returns on investment, enabling key stakeholders to understand the economic value of these decarbonisation projects.
Th EM3 energy audit laid the groundwork for the subsequent climate action strategy and steps towards decarbonisation.
Transitioning Fill-Finish Building to 650kW Water-Source Ammonia Heat Pump
EM3’s first step in the climate action strategy was to transition the fill-finish building’s heating system from steam to an alternative source. This involved comparing water-source and air-source options, considering different heat sources such as Chilled Water, Cooling Tower Water, and external air. EM3 also prioritised the use of zero Ozone Depletion Potential (ODP) and Global Warming Potential (GWP) refrigerants. The chosen technology for the fill finish building was a 650kW water-source ammonia heat pump. This solution utilised cooling tower water as the heat source, significantly increasing the Coefficient of Performance (COP) of the heat pump. Additionally, by lowering the Low-Pressure Hot Water (LPHW) distribution temperature to 65oC, EM3 successfully amplified the COP by reducing the temperature difference between the heat source and the heat sink.
By implementing the water-source ammonia heat pump solution in the fill-finish building, the client experienced a significant reduction in carbon emissions.
A Plan for Complete Decarbonisation and a Future Free of Steam and Gas Consumption
The next step in the carbon reduction strategy will involve replicating the steps taken for the fill finish building in the biologics building. This will significantly reduce the site’s reliance on steam for heating.
For the client to achieve complete decarbonisation, EM3 has devised a plan that will eliminate the remaining steam consumption and natural gas consumption at the site. Electric boilers will take over the duty, ensuring a maximum load of 250 kilowatts. Despite a lower Internal Rate of Return (IRR) of 6%, the client’s commitment to decarbonisation shines through, defying industry norms.
The phased elimination of steam usage and adoption of electric boilers will ultimately lead to complete decarbonisation.