Steam Optimisation at Saltend

Reducing steam losses at Saltend by 30% in two years

30% reduction in steam losses in 2 years £2.9M unaccounted steam identified 83 steam traps multi-stage project to repair and upgrade 83 steam traps

px  successfully delivered 30% reduction in steam losses at Saltend Chemicals Park in 2 years, whilst identifying over 115,000 tonnes per year of unidentified or unaccounted steam.

What We Did

The project, delivered by px, was centred on three core elements:

  • Technical Review
  • Operational Review
  • Commercial Review

Technical Review

px identified 83 steam traps as key contributors to unnecessary losses and implemented an eight phase, multi-stage project to repair and upgrade them.

Operational Review

A range of new operating procedures were produced and adherence to the new operating methodology was reinforced by the successful implementation of a new steam monitoring and optimisation display embedded into the site’s PI Vision system. This display used real-time data to calculate live steam losses at all pressures to provide key information to the operations and management teams to better decisions could be made.

Commercial Review

px carried out a detailed review of the steam purchase and supply agreements to fully understand contractual operational parameters. A new commercial strategy was developed to optimise cost and steam redundancy operations within the contractual parameters ensuring availability in excess of 99%. At the same time a new commercial model was developed to facilitate financial forecasting of steam profitability at Saltend for different market prices and operational scenarios. This model was embedded within the PI Vision live data displays to facilitate better operational management.


  • 30% reduction in steam losses in two years
  • 83 steam traps successfully repaired and upgraded. The upgraded design removed the need for operator interaction during start-up and shutdown conditions whilst simultaneously improving the efficiency of condensate capture within the pipeline.
  • New steam monitoring and optimisation display embedded into Saltend Chemicals Park’s PI Vision system