MRO Magazine

74% of energy consumed in manufacturing was used by four types of industries


November 2, 2015
By Bill Roebuck


Ottawa – The manufacturing sector in Canada consumed 2,177 petajoules (1015 joules) of energy as part of its production process in 2014, up 1.7% from 2013, according to a new report from Statistics Canada. The amount is equivalent to about 50 megatons of TNT.

The total energy consumed by manufacturing establishments has risen by about 5% since 2009. Over this same period, real manufacturing sales increased by 15%.

Despite the rebound in total manufacturing sales since 2009, total industrial energy consumption remains below that reported before the 2009 economic downturn, indicating an improvement in energy intensity.

A lower overall energy intensity in the manufacturing sector reflects the relative growth of industries with different intensities.


Three-quarters of energy consumed by four types of industries

In 2014, 74% of the total energy consumed in manufacturing was used by establishments classified to the paper, primary metal, chemical, and petroleum and coal manufacturing industries.

Together, these industries generated one-third (33%) of the total sales of goods manufactured (shipments) in 2014. In 2005, these industries generated 30% of goods manufactured while using 77% of the energy consumed in manufacturing.

Paper manufacturing industries, which include pulp and paper mills, consumed 523 petajoules in 2014. This accounted for almost one-quarter (24%) of energy consumed by manufacturing, down from 31% in 2005. This decline reflects changes in the demand for certain paper products such as newsprint.

Primary metal manufacturing industries, such as steel and aluminum, used 472 petajoules in 2014. Similar to 2005, this was just over one-fifth of the energy consumed by manufacturing. Electricity continued to account for the largest share of energy in 2014, with natural gas increasing to just over one-quarter.

In 2014, chemical manufacturing industries, ranging from petrochemicals and paint to pharmaceutical and pesticides, consumed 316 petajoules, up 16% from 2005. Natural gas accounted for over two-thirds (69%) of the fuel used by these industries in 2014, up from 59% in 2005.

The petroleum and coal manufacturing industries, including petroleum refineries, consumed 304 petajoules in 2014, a similar proportion compared with 2005. While these industries continue to use refinery fuel gas as a primary fuel source, natural gas use has increased by 40% since 2005.

Natural gas increasing at the expense of other fuels

The use of natural gas as fuel in manufacturing has increased every year since 2009. By 2014, 33% of all energy consumed by manufacturing was natural gas, up from 27% in 2009. Electricity accounted for 28% of the energy consumed in manufacturing in 2014, down from 30% in 2009.

The relative importance of ‘other fuels combined’ continues to decline, from about 43% of the total energy consumed in manufacturing in 2009 to 39% in 2014. Since 2005, the use of heavy fuel oil by the manufacturing sector has declined by over 80%.