How we helped a valued customer to make the most out of saving energy

Centrica Business Solutions enabled paper maker Sappi to double its earnings from Demand Side Response (DSR), where companies can receive payments from the grid operator for reducing energy consumption at peak times.

  • 30 seconds response time
  • Zero impact on production
  • 100% increase in DSR payments

Sappi is the world’s leading producer of high-quality coated fine paper, making 5.7 million tonnes a year. It’s a very energy-intensive process, so the company cuts its electricity costs by participating in DSR programmes.

That’s what Sappi was doing at its combined pulp and paper mill at Lanaken in Belgium. But the results were disappointing. It wasn’t getting a high enough return to offset rising electricity costs. Fortunately, Centrica Business Solutions was able to help.

To earn higher returns, Sappi needed to achieve much faster reaction times – just 30 seconds – when called on to reduce consumption. All this while avoiding any impact on day-to-day operations. Our solution focused on the pulp mill. Because it produces pulp which is then held in stock, it can be halted at times without affecting paper production downstream.

We installed our technology, which enables ultra-fast automated response. We placed Sappi in a portfolio of providers, which reduces the risk of being called upon by the grid when it’s not convenient. And we safeguarded paper production by monitoring stocks of pulp and making sure they didn’t get too low. The result: greatly increased DSR payments for Sappi with no impact on production.