Wet processes represent 38% of the energy consumption in the fashion and textile industry and 86% of the energy consumption of our own operations. Therefore, our initial efforts were directed towards energy savings in our dye houses, as this is where our major impact is.
Approximately 15% of our dyeing jets use older technology and have liquor ratios of 1:12. In 2022, we took the decision to terminate these jets and depend solely on our newer jets from Thies and Sclavos that have reduced the liquor ratios to 1:5. This is expected to save us 187,000 m3 of water annually which will subsequently reduce our chemical consumption and natural gas consumption by approximately 2.06 million m3 annually.
Through consultation with leading energy efficiency advisors and plant studies we were able to identify the main areas of steam leakage in the production process. Among the areas of steam savings were our pipe leaking’s; we plan to implement full pipe insulation in our 3 dye houses by June 2023. The reduction in leakage is expected to increase our retention of condensate water in the production process from 70% to 80%.
Along with the identification of the optimal pressure that our boilers should operate at, this will reduce the requirement of natural gas to produce 1 tonne of steam from 55m3 to 45m3, which is exceedingly better than the industry average of 60m3 per tonne. As 65% of our dye houses natural gas consumption is directed towards steam production, this is expected to save us 1.7 million m3 of natural gas annually.
Due to the wear out of our squeezers, we were drying 62% of our open-width fabric on our dryers prior to giving them stenter treatment. We have replaced the squeezing arms of our machines which improved their functionality and consequently increased the pick-up rate of the wet fabric from 4% to 15%.
This enabled us to implement a wet-to-wet finishing process and treat the fabric on the stenters immediately after squeezing. As a result, we now dry only 24% of our fabric that requires special treatment such as carbon finish. Through this change, we managed to save 118,160 KW of electricity and 94,600 m3 of natural gas monthly which translates to annual savings of 1.41 million KW and 1.13 million m3 of electricity and natural gas respectively.
Our dyeing facilities are equipped with water treatment units that treat for PH and color. The water tank can treat up to 5000 m3 of water daily ensuring that no water with harmful chemicals is released from our factories