Asaleo Care has substantial hygiene product manufacturing and distribution operations in Australasia and is committed to being a sustainable business. The Melbourne suburb of Box Hill is home to the company’s corporate office where it manufactures tissue paper and converts this to products such as toilet paper, kitchen towel, napkins and facial tissues. Its portfolio of market-leading brands includes Sorbent, Handee Ultra, Libra, Purex, Treasures, Deeko, Viti and Orchid. Tissue paper manufacturing is classified as an energy intensive trade exposed activity, so managing energy costs is critical for business competitiveness.
Asaleo Care was awarded a $40,512 Gas Efficiency Grant which contributes to a capital upgrade project that will improve thermal insulation and reduce standing heat losses.
Gas Efficiency Grants are offered to businesses as part of the Boosting Business Productivity program.
Asaleo Care has already implemented a number of efficiency measures in the last two years. Significant changes have been made to optimise the boiler operations that supply steam and hot water to the manufacturing plant, decommissioning the least efficient boiler. The remaining two boilers have been tuned to maximise combustion efficiency. Along with insulation upgrades in the boiler house, operating the two boilers more efficiently means substantial savings in ongoing operating and maintenance costs. Elsewhere on site, improvements have also been made to reduce gas used for office heating. In 2018, faced with a 40 per cent increase in gas prices, project engineers continued to focus on opportunities to save energy through efficiency measures.
Asaleo Care has used the Gas Efficiency Grant to install thermal insulation, including fitting insulation covers on pipe fittings such as flanges, valves, pump casings, and access doors. The pipes carry hot water and steam condensate and the insulation will reduce standing heat losses that would otherwise occur 24/7 for at least 360 days per year. The project is estimated to save at least 9,130GJ per annum and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 470 tonnes CO2-e.
Often fittings are left uninsulated because maintenance crews need access, and fitting the insulation is much trickier than lagging a length of pipe. To overcome this, the majority of the insulation to be installed by Asaleo Care is in the form of removable insulation covers which allow easy removal for maintenance that requires access to the fittings. Project engineers also considered traditional rockwool cladding, and found the removable covers were more cost effective. Asaleo Care is one of an increasing number of businesses that are choosing this option, and likewise there are an increasing range of suitable options on the market.
An important co-benefit of this project is improved site safety. In scoping the project, a thermal imaging camera was used to measure surface temperatures and found temperatures up to 180C. Post-project, surface temperatures are anticipated to be reduced to 40C. Insulation will reduce the risk of thermal burns from hot uninsulated equipment and improve working conditions, especially in summer when site staff will no longer be exposed to heat radiating from hot surfaces.