Based in Stanhope, Co. Durham, Astrum manufactures and supplies
steel components, primarily for tanks and heavy duty earth moving
Astrum has always recognised the importance of ensuring that the
machinery at its foundry is as efficient as possible. So when it
formed an internal energy team, its first priority was to identify
where energy was being wasted.
Assisted by a free Carbon Trust on-site survey, a detailed study
of the site was undertaken. This identified that the air
compressors used in operations and in making moulds for castings
were consuming far more energy than they should. To help it fund
the necessary changes, Astrum looked into the Carbon Trust loan
In December 2009, Astrum received a loan of £400,000. This
covered the cost of a bespoke system, replacing the existing air
compressors with two variable speed smaller models, fitted with a
leak detection programme and low pressure drop piping.
As a result, Astrum has reduced its energy demand by 1,255,000
kWh per annum, cutting its energy bill by £80,000 a year and the
site's CO2 emissions by 600 tonnes a year.
"When we sat down with the loan figures I didn't believe it,"
says Mike Hutchinson, Operations Director at Astrum. "Effectively
the replacement is cost neutral for the first four years, and after
that we'll be saving 50% on electricity costs."
"Our compressed air system is critical to the performance of our
plant and the quality of the products we produce. Instead of simply
replacing kit on a like-for-like basis, the loan gave us the
opportunity to improve our systems with the goal of gaining a
competitive edge," explains Mike.
Savings at a glance
- Loan amount: £400,000
- Annual cost savings: £80,000
- Annual CO2 savings: 600 tonnes
Download Astrum case study (PDF)