The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recently announced that it had recognized the energy productivity achievements of Eastman Chemical. As a partner in DOE’s Better Plants Challenge, Eastman reportedly committed to improving its energy performance across all U.S. operations by 20%, from a 2008 baseline, while sharing strategies and results. The DOE reports that Eastman has improved its energy productivity by approximately 12% since joining, putting the company more than halfway toward meeting its goal.

“By partnering with companies like Eastman to lower energy costs, the Better Plants program is helping to improve manufacturing competitiveness in the United States—a key priority for the Trump Administration,” said Daniel R Simmons, assistant secretary for the Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Office at the DOE. “Seeing first-hand the energy productivity gains that Eastman has accomplished at their Tennessee operations, one of the largest chemical manufacturing sites in North America, it’s clear they have a model for other U.S. manufacturers to follow. Their energy productivity gains help cut costs, create jobs, and drive economic growth.”

Simmons visited Eastman’s headquarters in Kingsport, Tenn., the partner’s Showcase Project, and toured the facility. Eastman’s Tennessee Operations, the company's largest facility, employs approximately 7,000 people. The site uses 160 MW of electricity, the majority of which comes from an efficient on-site co-generation process. To further improve its energy productivity, the facility upgraded its natural gas compression system, which supplies its hydrogen plants. The switch resulted in an annual energy and cost savings of 8% for the associated hydrogen production process, as well as an overall reduction in maintenance costs.

More than 215 manufacturers are now participating in the Better Plants program across the country. To date, partners have saved $5.3 billion in cumulative energy costs and more than 1 quadrillion BTUs of energy.

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