DAK Americas saves US$150,000 annually and transforms LDAR monitoring program into profit center

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Courtesy of IHS

Work smarter, not harder' has long been the goal at DAK Americas' polyethylene terephthalate resins (PET) ethylene glycol and monomers refining plant in Leland, North Carolina. Recently, the facility's environmental team applied that philosophy to the management of fugitive emissions information using FEMS Express™ software from ESS and achieved remarkable results.

Like many chemical plants in the United States, this facility is required to conduct ongoing leak detection and repair (LDAR) monitoring to comply with various governmental regulations. When DAK Americas purchased the plant from DuPont in 2001, the new owners authorized a cost-benefit analysis and determined that a plan to outsource LDAR monitoring at the facility would cost the company more than $200,000 a year for two people to maintain reporting and monitoring.

Fortunately, the analysis also concluded that one of their own environmental technicians, Ronald Packer, could conduct LDAR monitoring at the facility for only 25 percent of the projected outsourcing costs using FEMS Express software from ESS. FEMS Express helps companies manage compliance and streamline fugitive emission monitoring data collection, administration and reporting in an easy-to-use, easy-to-install package. These tools also give organizations the means to move beyond compliance and develop enterprise-wide, multi-media emissions best practices that reduce costs and risks.

The DAK Americas team soon realized that they could even leverage that same internal resource by hiring Packer out to four other chemical manufacturing sites in the region to maintain reporting and monitoring of their LDAR projects.

As a result, DAK Americas was able to transform this compliance cost burden into a new profit center, greatly reducing the LDAR monitoring program's overall impact on budgeted expenditures.

'Using FEMS Express, we can quickly affect leak repairs, thereby minimizing the leak rates, which results in reduced monitoring and less frequent inspections,' Packer said. 'Once again, working smarter, not harder' has helped us save time and money.'

Additional benefits to DAK Americas include assured continuity of the site's fugitive emissions management history and compliance reporting knowledge all rolled into one centralized center.

For Ron Packer, there have also been substantial benefits. As the LDAR monitoring program leader, he enjoys the confidence of knowing that he is playing a key role in saving his company hundreds of thousands of dollars each year. He and his LDAR program are highly valued within DAK Americas and the other four chemical facilities and, he says, 'There is no way I could do all of this without FEMS Express.'

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