Full steam ahead in Pensacola


Ascend focuses on reducing steam usage

Our 2030 Vision has laid a foundation for the type of company we want to be and guides how we operate. Different teams across our sites are driving our efforts and working as one Ascend to make our operations more sustainable and make us better every day. One of the teams in our Pensacola integrated nylon site are making an impact by focusing on steam.

While steam is one of the main types of energy that we use to power our operations, reducing steam usage is beneficial financially and in terms of sustainability as it curtails energy consumption and reduces greenhouse gas emissions.

Because of this, Pensacola has an entire energy team focused on reducing steam usage for the site. Two ways they are doing this is through the Steam Trap Program and working on steam leaks.

“Steam traps are devices that discharge built-up condensate from a system without allowing for loss of steam,” says Doug Gantt, energy control operator. “At Pensacola, we have several thousand steam traps in operation.”

The Steam Trap Program ensures that every steam trap at the site is regularly monitored to ensure its effectiveness. Additionally, the program has allowed the team to check that each steam trap is optimized for the application it is being used in.

“One of the first things we did when we started this project was to re-write the steam trap standard for Pensacola,” says Shaun Hirsch, senior production engineer. “Because different steam traps can be used in varying applications, we wanted to make sure that we had the right ones in place.”

In addition to this program, the team has taken a more proactive approach to fixing steam leaks that occur at the site.

“When a steam leak occurs at the site, a work order is created to get it fixed,” says Danika Louw, production engineer. “Once it's in the system, our maintenance and IT teams assign a cost to the leak. This helps us prioritize steam saving work and saves more energy.”