New Trigeneration System Allows Baxter to Maximize Energy Usage, Minimize Environmental Impact

Nov 13, 2013 12:30 PM ET
Peter Toohey, David Akeroyd and Bernard Kornfeld stand in front of Baxter’s now fully operational trigeneration system at its Toongabbie, New South Wales, Australia facility.

Sustainability at Baxter

After almost two years of planning, including seven months of construction, a trigeneration system at Baxter International Inc.’s manufacturing plant in Toongabbie, New South Wales, Australia, is now fully operational.

Trigeneration is an industrial-scale process where a single fuel source is used to generate electricity and thermal energy for both heating and cooling. Trigeneration reduces greenhouse gas emissions related to electricity consumption, improves power reliability by protecting the facilities from manufacturing interruptions that may occur from local utility outages, and allows the facility to use the byproduct heat (thermal energy) from electricity generation for other plant operations, further reducing facility energy cost. 

Baxter’s new system uses two 1MW gas-driven generators that provide enough electricity to power the entire Toongabbie manufacturing plant. Exhaust heat then creates steam for the existing boiler, and the cooling water provides chilled water for the plant's cooling requirements. The company estimates that trigeneration will help reduce its impact on the environment and reduce carbon dioxide output by an estimated 40%, or almost 6,000 tons per year.

Baxter secured a clean energy grant from the Australian Government's Clean Technology Investment Program as incentive for investing in cleaner energy. In addition to being a reliable and clean process for generating energy, trigeneration is also quiet—important as the Toongabbie campus is surrounded by residential areas. The technology also generally has a good payback period, which makes it a sound financial choice as well as a green investment.

"Baxter is dedicated to finding new and innovative ways to do business and manufacture products globally,” said David Akeroyd, Baxter’s Region Head, ANZ. “It’s important to us to not only implement process improvements that help to reduce, recycle and reuse the resources which we need to operate, but that also help lessen our environmental impact."