Best Available Techniques

Best available techniques (BAT) are defined within the European IPPC Directive. In order to minimise differences in the application of BAT across EU Member States, a series of BAT Reference (BREF) notes has been introduced.

Sealing Technology BAT guidance note

Sealing technology is involved in virtually all of the sectors covered by the IPPC Directive. Yet, only limited information and guidance on sealing options is available in some of the early BREF notes. For this reason, the ESA has developed a Sealing Technology BAT guidance note to help customers to achieve compliance

Best available techniques and life cycle cost

One of the key elements of the IPPC Directive is energy efficiency - and this is also a crucial aspect when considering the options for Best Available Techniques (BAT).

The energy demand in certain process systems can be a huge component of the total costs of operating the plant. In some cases, over 25% of the total energy use on certain industrial installations may be accounted for by pumping systems. Despite this, many operations do not factor in such costs during procurement - focussing their attention solely on the initial purchase price. Using that criteria alone may be a simple methodology, but will lead to poor long-term decisions!

This is where life-cycle cost (LCC) analysis can be a valuable management tool to help maximise capital investment and plant efficiency.

The life cycle cost of a piece of equipment is the total lifetime cost to purchase, install, operate, maintain and dispose of the item. LCC analysis is a useful way to analyse differences between a technologis and operating alternatives in order to identify the system that will cost the least over its entire life cycle.

LCC analysis usually takes into account initial purchase costs, installation and commissioning costs, operating costs (including energy costs), environmental costs, maintenance costs, decommissioning and disposal costs. LCC uses net present value (NPV) concepts, which consider discount factors, cash flow and time. Consideration must be given to whenever costs occur during the life cycle of the equipment or project, while statistical equipment failure rates add further economic reality.

For more information on life-cycle cost analysis, please refer to Life-cycle cost.

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ESA membership is open to companies involved with fluid sealing and has many benefits.

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