ArcelorMittal USA’s Larry Fabina was honored on Wednesday, October 14 with the Association of Energy Engineers’ (AEE) 2020 International Energy Manager of the Year Award. The honor is a recognition of an individual’s efforts to lower energy consumption in their industry through collaboration, innovation, and hard work.
“The winners are out there doing an outstanding service to their communities,” said Samer Zawaydeh, President of the AEE. “They’re saving operational expenses, saving resources, reducing CO2 emissions, and contributing to solving the climate crisis.”
Fabina has spent 47 years in the steel industry, and was named manager of continuous improvement and coordinator of ArcelorMittal USA’s Energy Reduction Program back in 2006. Since then, he has worked tirelessly to find creative ways to lower ArcelorMittal USA’s energy usage, and has attained over $35 million in government and utility incentives to help make his plans a reality.
It is Fabina’s efforts to design strategies, find funding, and foster collaboration that earned him the International Energy Manager of the Year Award, but he gave credit to a vast array of people and resources in his acceptance speech.
“It’s a big honor but I wouldn’t be receiving it without the thousands of people that have helped me over the last 14 years,” Fabina said. “It’s the whole company and government organizations such as the U.S. EPA’s ENERGY STAR Program and the Department of Energy’s Better Plants Program. It is also the vendors and suppliers who let me know about the newest energy efficient equipment we should be putting in.”
He called special attention to the steelworkers on the floor that he trusts with carrying out the day-to-day changes necessary to lower our energy intensity as well as the plant-level energy champions.
“Really, I’d like to thank the plant leadership and workforce, because that’s where the energy reduction takes place,” he said. “Without their fingers on the knobs turning them in the right directions, their support for our projects, and their conservation of energy, we wouldn’t be where we are today.”
Under Fabina’s leadership, 59 percent of ArcelorMittal USA’s electrical energy in 2019 was self-generated. The company also implemented 27 different projects that provided almost $20 million in energy savings – the equivalent of powering 14,400 homes for a year.
“We were the first steel company to join the U.S. EPA’s ENERGY STAR Industrial Program and the Department of Energy’s Better Plants Program,” Fabina said. “I’m really excited about what we’ve accomplished. We’re dedicated to lowering costs and creating a more sustainable world.”
In many ways, saving energy is simpler than you might expect for one of the country’s largest steel providers. Fabina hunts for inefficiencies such as outdated light fixtures, leaks in air and steam lines and inefficient equipment. The easiest fix for Fabina and the team is simply turning off machines when they are not required for the operation.
“Look at your own house and look at your electrical bill, and think of the ways you can save money,” he said. “You might have a bit of extra money in your pocket and think about buying a new energy efficient furnace. It’s basically the same thing that we do here at the mill, but our furnace is on a much bigger scale.”
To learn more about ArcelorMittal USA, visit usa.arcelormittal.com