Gerdau Ameristeel has reduced its energy usage at its Knoxville, Tennessee plant by 18 percent and reduced its natural gas use by 47 percent after implementing a series of recommendations by the Department of Energy, according to a report on Knoxvillebiz.com.
The 240-employee plant, which produces rebar and recycles scrap metal, was named an Energy Champion by the DoE for its energy-saving policies, which it has implemented in coordination with DoE’s Save Energy Now program. The plant implemented approximately 40 percent of DoE’s recommendations, making it one of only two plants in the country to implement more than 15 percent of the department’s recommendations.
According to the report, the company has invested $500,000 in energy saving technology and improvements, including replacing old equipment and developing new energy-saving processes.
The company has also cut 6,000 tons of carbon emissions a year at a plant in Canada by using methane to heat its furnace. Earlier this year, Gerdau was one of several industry signatories to a petition protesting the EPA’s endangerment ruling on carbon dioxide emissions and is now suing the agency to reverse its ruling.
Meanwhile, U.S. Steel is working on a program to use a substitute for coke that would potentially reduce emissions at its Gary, Indiana plant by 3,000 tons of carbon monoxide, 907 tons of nitrogen oxides and 706 tons of volatile organic compounds, according to a report in Northwest Indiana Times.