Home » The activities of the Energy Office aimed at improving efficiency and supporting sustainability

The activities of the Energy Office aimed at improving efficiency and supporting sustainability

The Energy Office develops solutions to boost energy efficiency and overall energy management to reduce costs and increase environmental sustainability.

A team of professionals with technical, economic-financial and legal skills to implement the most effective energy strategy. We interviewed Energy Manager Paolo Trevisan and Energy Specialists Rafael Graziutti, Simone Mossenta and Giacomo Tortul to learn more about their work and activities.

What are the main objectives of the Energy Office in terms of energy efficiency?

Simone Mossenta: Any activity aimed at improving energy efficiency and reducing environmental impact starts with a monitoring plan that allows us to quantify, analyse and historically track energy use within a business activity. This provides us with reliable data that is essential for identifying areas of increased consumption, identifying opportunities to improve efficiency and then measuring progress. If the measures implemented result in significant savings that go beyond normal practice, they can benefit from the recognition of White Certificates (Energy Efficiency Bonds), which are tradable securities that certify the achievement of energy savings in the final use of energy linked to initiatives and projects to improve energy efficiency. White Certificates are expressed in tonnes of oil equivalent saved and they are redeemable and traded on the market.

The Energy Office is working to constantly expand the monitoring network of the companies in the Group, using a special dedicated IT platform. We are also working to promote and support energy efficiency projects that, in addition to direct savings, can lead to the achievement of White Certificates and provide access to greater resources for the capitalisation of the company and the coverage of investment costs.

The production facilities of the Pittini Group are UNI EN ISO 50001 certified for the Energy Management System. What does this mean in practical terms?

Paolo Trevisan: The implementation of an Energy Management System (EMS), especially when it is certified in compliance with the international standard UNI EN ISO 50001, allows a systematic approach to identifying opportunities for improving energy use and reducing climate-changing emissions, defining energy objectives and identifying the most appropriate tools and procedures to achieve these objectives.

The EMS requires the presence of an Energy Team that includes the members of the Energy Office and, for each production site, the employees who work in the functional departments (Engineering, Production, Environment, Purchasing, and Management Control) and who can have a direct role in energy issues. Thanks to a continuous dialogue, it is possible to improve knowledge and awareness of the system, monitor consumption and processes, and identify all improvements that lead to sustainability and decarbonisation.

For energy-intensive companies, it is not only important, it is essential to continually improve their energy performance and reduce their emissions: not only for the immediate benefit of lower utility costs but also to meet national and EU targets that represent both legal obligations to be met and opportunities that will, over time, bring benefits to the core business.

How does the Emission Trading System work?

Rafael Graziutti: The Emissions Trading System (ETS) is a mechanism that aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through the allocation and trading of emission allowances. The system works by setting a limit on emissions through the allocation of a certain number of CO2 allowances; in return, operators are required to surrender a number of allowances, equivalent to their actual greenhouse gas emissions, to the European Registry.

Each year, the number of allowances available and allocated to companies is reduced and, in order to meet regulatory obligations, it is necessary to purchase the missing allowances on the market. This mechanism encourages the overall reduction of emissions by encouraging research and the implementation of operational improvements, more efficient technologies and materials, such as biomass, that reduce emissions, thus cutting the cost of purchasing allowances for companies.

Does the Group work with strategic partners to promote energy sustainability?

Giacomo Tortul: When we talk about sustainable energy, we are referring both to the production of energy from sustainable sources and to its efficient use, with the aim of not harming the environment. To be sustainable, the entire energy process must be analysed, from production to transport and end-use. The production of energy from renewable sources (solar, wind, geothermal, etc.) is not sufficient on its own but must be complemented by the rational use of energy, limiting waste and exploiting new technologies.

Rationalising the use of energy appears explicitly in several of the goals of the United Nations, and in Europe, the Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) is going to push these issues even further, both for the companies under the obligation to follow the rules as well as for the related supply chains involved.

The Pittini Group has been working for years with the main players in the sector, carrying out projects aimed at increasing renewable energy production, optimising processes and recovering lost energy.

What are the most significant initiatives?

In 2023, work began in Osoppo on the installation of several photovoltaic systems on the roofs of the existing warehouses for a total installed photovoltaic power of 1,700 kW, which is designed to increase the total installed photovoltaic capacity of the entire plant to 2,700 kW. All of the energy produced is going to be used in the steelmaking production process, which in turn will in fact reduce the amount of electricity drawn from the national grid.

At the production site in Verona, several sustainable energy choices aimed at recovering process heat were implemented in 2017 during the construction of the new wire rod rolling mill. The heat from the cooling of the billet preheating furnace is used to power an absorption refrigeration unit for cooling the electric cabins of the rolling mill, allowing a reduced consumption of electricity. The project has achieved the annual energy savings of 650,000 kWh which would otherwise have been required to power a standard refrigeration unit. In addition, the heat from the fumes of the billet pre-heating furnace has been recovered and transferred to the city district heating network of AGSM AIM for years. The installation guarantees 100 per cent of the summer energy demand and a substantial percentage of the corresponding demand in winter, amounting to approximately the requirements of 800 average households.

In 2018, the Green Steel project was launched at the production site in Potenza, which involves a series of investments focused on reducing CO2 emissions, rationalising the use of water, increasing energy efficiency and improving the acoustic impact. One of the projects is the installation of a new electric arc furnace with continuous charging technology, which allows the raw material to be pre-heated using the heat that would otherwise be dispersed by the fumes. This allows a reduction in energy consumption as well as the CO2 produced during the melting process.