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GTZ: Save Money and Energy by Recovering Steam Condensate

clip_image002The textile factory in this case study was established in 1997 and is a 100% export oriented composite home textile industry having units of spinning, weaving, printing & dyeing, sengeing & desizing with continuous bleaching plant & stitching unit including a CAD design studio. The factory is located on 22.6 acres of land. It has a built up area of 99,224 sqm and a production floor space of 72,481 sqm. Electricity is supplied by the Dhaka Electricity Supply Company Ltd. and natural gas is by Titas Gas Transmission and Distribution Co. Ltd. Both are Government utility departments.

The product range of the textile factory covers bed-linen and window curtains in 100% cotton and poly/cotton blended, printed and dyed woven sheet set, duvet cover set, fitted sheet, pillow cases, flat sheets, window curtain, table clothes, cushion cover, flannel etc.

The present production capacity is 50,000 sets per day. The textile factory has a complete biological Effluent Treatment Plant (ETP) with a treating capacity of 400 m3/hr of waste water. A new 6,000 m3/hr waste water treating capacity ETP is at the commissioning stage. More than 4700 workers work for six days a week with Friday as the weekly holiday. The factory runs on three shifts.

The textile factory’s major clients are international brands such as Vanguard, Wal-mart, Tesco, Woolworth, H&M and others.

Steam System Optimisation

The textile factory has an extensive steam system that features nine steam boilers that have a total capacity of 129 ton/hr (3×13 tons, 6×15 tons). In addition they have 2×1 ton thermal oil heater boilers. The boilers use natural gas firing which make 76% of the total site energy cost. Of all the steam used on the site 70% steam is used in dyeing section, 20% in the ironing section and remainder in the finished products cleaning section.

The textile factory is well aware that they can make very good energy savings on their steam system and the associated costs. During the energy audit undertaken by the PROGRESS energy audit team, the heat radiation of un-lagged condensate return pipes was measured to be 1260C.  It can be seen in the diagram below that steam condensate has approximately 25% of the heat content of the supply steam and if returned to the supply site, would limit the new energy input together with water and chemical costs. It is therefore important to return as much of the condensate as possible and to insulate the pipes.

clip_image004The textile factory has installed some new pipe lagging on the steam condensate return pipe work because they recognised that un-insulated steam distribution and condensate return lines are a constant source of wasted energy. Insulation can typically reduce energy losses by 90% and help ensure proper steam pressure at plant equipment.

clip_image006clip_image008The Textile Factory has made a start on optimising their steam system and they will do more work in the future. They will target energy savings of 10% on their steam system (natural gas used on boilers) in the next year which will reduce consumption by 34,962 MWh. These energy savings will provide the company with financial savings of 15,034 million BDT per year and they expect to get a payback on their investment in 1.8 years.

Their clients are encouraging this new initiative as it will reduce the carbon footprint of one of their key suppliers by over 7,202 tonnes of CO² per year.

At some of the RMG and textile sites where energy audits were undertaken in Bangladesh by the PROGRESS audit team, no condensate was recovered and reused; although in many cases the condensate was collected. This indicates that there is a very good potential for savings of natural gas used to generate steam at many readymade garment (RMG) sites.

PROGRESS – Promotion of Social, Environmental and Production Standards in the RMG Sector –  is a joint program of the governments of Bangladesh and Germany and is implemented by GTZ (Gesellschaft fuer Technische Zusammenarbeit). In its environmental component, it is supporting the industry in becoming more environmentally friendly.

If you would like to get further information about Energy Efficiency measures in the garment and textile industry, please contact Elke Shrestha at: or under elke.shrestha@gtz.de

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If anyone has any feedback or input regarding the published news, please contact: info@textiletoday.com.bd

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