PennTAP advisor identifies cost saving opportunities for sand mining company

PennTAP’s professionalism, high level of expertise, and problem-solving capabilities are excellent. Our advisor thoroughly researched our utilities over a twoyear history prior to even coming to our site. When they arrived, they were completely prepared to make accurate assessments of our present situation and offer thorough, purposeful recommendations which were immediately implementable for cost reductions.

David Arendash, EHS Coordinator, US Silica

The Need

US Silica is an industrial sand mining company with locations across the country. The company’s surface mines in Mapleton, PA use natural gas and electricity to produce whole grain silica through hard rock mining, selling silica-based products such as volleyball sand, golf sand, and whole-grain silica for the manufacturing of glass. 

The staff at US Silica looked to PennTAP for cost reduction solutions in their Mapleton facility.  

Prior to this energy assessment in 2022, PennTAP had completed two assessments of different processing areas and assisted US Silica in sponsoring a Learning Factory project with a FirstEnergy Foundation grant to cover 50% of the costs. 

The Project

PennTAP Advisor Amy Jorden thoroughly researched and reviewed the site’s utility usage and billing statements as well as their operations and company structure to determine opportunities for cost savings prior to her visit. Jorden, with the assistance of PennTAP Advisor Jenn Jones, conducted an Energy Efficiency (E2) assessment in January 2022. The advisors focused on US Silica’s wet process, which entails processing the mined rocks through the crushing and washing stages. Specifically, Jorden and Jones analyzed the motors used in the crushing and washing process, advising US Silica on different options available for reducing energy consumption as well as the wear on the motors. This project was funded in part by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PA DEP). 

Outcomes and Benefits

Jorden determined that replacing key motor equipment with a more efficient model would save the site an estimated $13,371 annually. She also provided referrals to the administrators of the Act 129 Rebates on behalf of US Silica. 

US Silica’s Environmental Health & Safety Coordinator David Arendash said US Silica is interested in participating in an E3 assessment with PennTAP in the future. E3 assessments give the employees at a company’s site the training and in-house tools they need to identify waste in their operations so they can continue to build upon the work already started in the initial E2 assessment. 

PennTAP is committed to helping achieve nine of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. Of those nine goals, this project aligned with:  

About the Client

US Silica, Mapleton
12942 Oriskany Road
Mapleton, PA 17052
Phone: (814) 542-2561
County: Huntingdon
Industry: Industrial sand mining