Implementation of energy management system at Papelera Brandia yields significant savings

ABB conducted an energy audit at the Papelera Brandia mill in Santiago de Compostela, Spain, that recommended the implementation of energy efficiency monitoring and optimization software in order to reduce downtime caused by power consumption limits set to avoid penalties.

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As a result of the energy audit at the mill, ABB Ability™ Energy Management System was installed, improving energy efficiency, saving the cost of electricity and natural gas and reducing emissions. This helped Papelera Brandia achieve its objective of energy efficient operations.

The Situation

  • Problems with tripping of maxi-meters, devices for automatic blocking of power consumption on reaching pre-determined limits (critical to avoid penalty payments to local electrical utility for consuming too much energy).
  • Age and lack of servicing identified as factors leading to maxi-meters becoming faulty.


The Solution

  • Energy audit, including on-site assessment and off-site analysis to measure values, collect information, analyze and draw up list of opportunities.
  • Implementation of ABB Ability™ Energy Manager to optimize energy consumption

Addressing the energy management needs of a high quality paper manufacturer

Papelera Brandia SA produces machine-glazed (MG) kraft paper ranging from 24 to 140g/m2. Their kraft paper is ideal for wrapping and packaging due to its mechanical properties. The brightness of the glazed side of the paper optimizes printability. At their customer’s request, Brandia adapts paper to end-use, providing high smoothness, wet strength, high opacity and other stock treatments depending on the application.

In 2012, Papelera Brandia started to have problems with maxi-meters tripping. These are devices used to automatically block power consumption after having reached a pre-determined limit, in order to avoid penalty payments to the local electrical utility for consuming too much energy. The maxi-meters became faulty due to old age and lack of servicing. Due to the commitment of the ABB team on site, and the confidence of the customer, Papelera Brandia explained the issue in a series of follow up meetings.

Helping address a major challenge - tripping of maxi-meters - that could result in significant commercial impact

Getting to the root of the problem with energy audits

ABB suggested an Energy Audit as the strategic approach to document the customer’s energy consumption and recommended a follow-up plan with identification of potential opportunities for efficiency and savings.

As Papelera Brandia was aligned with ABB’s approach, the first order was placed to perform the energy audit. The audit consisted of the following:

  • On-site assessment
    One week on site with two ABB experts focused on electrical and thermal energy; this included checking the power plant, pulping process and paper machine energy sources. Papelera Brandia did not have an energy meter, so the first target was to measure the actual values for each area.

    Interviews with quality, production, maintenance, purchasing, plant managers were held to understand how they managed their operations and their knowledge about energy policies.

    Collecting information such as invoices from various utilities and other energy supply companies.


  • Off-site analysis
    Preparing the final report, energy map, baseline consumption and list of opportunities

After the assessment and analysis, ABB and Papelera Brandia worked together to define a master plan with prioritization of opportunities, categorization and a feasibility analysis. 

Complete energy audit process encompassing actual values capture, interviews with diverse stakeholders, collection of information such as utility invoices, followed by in-depth analysis, energy map and baseline consumption documentation - to arrive at list of opportunities

Implementation of ABB Ability™ Energy Manager

One of the crucial needs identified was a monitoring and targeting system. This was turned into a proposal to implement ABB Ability™ Energy Manager. ABB’s proposal included:
  • Delivery and commissioning of energy meters
  • Delivery of a regular industrial server that included the Energy Manager software (monitoring and targeting template)
  • Programing of functions; this included communications with quality control, production, plan systems. According to the UNE 216501:2009 standard, an energy audit is defined as a systematic, independent and documented process aimed at obtaining and objectively evaluating evidence in an organization or part of the organization, with the following objectives:
  • Obtain a reliable evaluation or the energy consumption and its associated costs.
  • Identify and characterize the factors affecting the energy consumption.
  • Detect and evaluate savings opportunities, efficiency improvements, energy diversification possibilities and their repercussion in the energy and maintenance costs, and also other possible benefits and their associated costs. 

Realizing a world of benefits

As a summary of the energy audit conducted for Papelera Brandia by ABB, 21 opportunities were identified as priorities. Savings results from a wide variety of actions taken.

Total energy savings288.830 € / year
Global energy savings9,25%
Electrical savings9,9%
Natural gas savings7,9%
Savings in tons of CO₂1.467 tons / year
Investment600.000 € (approx.)
Average ROI


(92k in less than 18 months)


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