Centennial Coal Reduces Carbon Tax by US$279,000, Recovers US$468,000 by Identifying Billing Errors, and Improves Energy Efficiency Returns by 20%
 
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Centennial Coal Reduces Carbon Tax by US$279,000, Recovers US$468,000 by Identifying Billing Errors, and Improves Energy Efficiency Returns by 20%

  • Oracle Customer:  Centennial Coal
    Location:  Sydney, NSW, Australia
    Industry:  Natural Resources
    Employees:  1,800
    Annual Revenue:  $500 Million to $1 Billion

Established in 1989, Centennial Coal is a mining and marketing company supplying thermal and coking coal to local and export markets. With seven operating coalmines in New South Wales, it is one of that state’s largest underground coal producers and major fuel supplier to the domestic-energy industry. The company is a wholly owned subsidiary of Banpu Public Company, and committed to becoming an industry-leading, sustainable coal producer and supplier.

The 2007 National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Act (NGER) and introduction of a carbon tax in 2012 profoundly impacted the Australian mineral resources sector. Faced with major environmental and bottom-line challenges, Centennial Coal needed to ensure accurate emissions reporting by integrating underground greenhouse gas measurement data with its enterprise resource planning (ERP) platform. It also wanted to streamline compliance auditing, minimize its carbon footprint, and increase energy efficiency to offset carbon liability.

In May 2012, Centennial Coal implemented a sustainability-performance-management platform based on Oracle Database and Oracle Business Intelligence Suite, Enterprise Edition. The platform provides role-based dashboards for sustainable development, engineers, finance, auditors and senior management. With Oracle technology, Centennial Coal streamlined its data collation for emissions reporting, increased transparency in the auditing process, avoided US$468,000 in billing errors, and improved returns by up to 20% on certain energy-efficiency improvement initiatives. Centennial Coal also won an Oracle Excellence Award for Eco-Enterprise Innovation in September 2013.

 
Automates Emission Data Collation and Reduces Carbon Tax by US$279,000

A word from Centennial Coal

  • “Using Oracle technology, we reduced our carbon liability by US$279,000 and met ongoing sustainability goals. We have streamlined our auditing process, improved energy efficiency returns by 20%, and recovered US$468,000 in billing errors.” Donna Dryden, General Manager, Sustainable Development, Centennial Coal

As part of its clean energy legislation, the Government of Australia taxes mining companies for fugitive gas emissions—primarily methane gas released during the coal extraction process. Mining companies, such as Centennial Coal, need to account and report the fugitive gas emissions and associated carbon liability annually under the requirements of the NGER Act. It was critical that senior management ensure reporting accuracy and efficiency to eliminate the risk of hefty penalties for erroneous reporting. 

Each mine manually collected emissions data from different sources, such as coal production reports, electricity bills, diesel bills, and ventilation-officer reports, and sent the spreadsheets to the head office for consolidation. By integrating its ERP system with the Oracle-based sustainability-performance-management platform, Centennial Coal automated data collation and validation of the emissions data received from electricity meters, electronic invoices, and fugitive emissions abatement sensors, as well as ERP data for coal production and fossil fuel consumption on a daily and monthly basis. The increased flexibility of the sustainability-performance-management platform produced a US$279,000 carbon tax reduction and improved reporting efficiency.

Centennial Coal eliminated human error and accelerated emissions reporting. It also increased management confidence in data accuracy and minimized the risk of heavy fines. The company expects to achieve even greater automation in the next annual reporting period, which will also include integration of further emissions data for waste and recycling into the sustainability-performance-management platform.

 
Increases Auditing Transparency, Recovers US$468,000 Billing Errors

 
Gains Ability to Mitigate Carbon Liability, Improves Energy Efficiency Returns by 20%

 
 

 
 

Challenges

  • Automate data collation for annual carbon-emission-compliance reporting requirements to improve efficiency and increase management confidence in accuracy
  • Provide management with better insight into fugitive gas emissions and the associated carbon liability to create better carbon-mitigation strategies
  • Streamline auditing process to increase transparency and eliminate the risk of severe fines for failing to comply with NGER regulations
  • Implement energy-efficiency strategies to reduce energy costs for coal extraction and meet sustainability goals

Solutions

  • Recovered US$468,000 in electricity billing errors in a single financial year by using the Oracle Business Intelligence dashboard capability to easily view and verify integrated data from various sources
  • Reduced carbon liability by US$279,000 through better data handling flexibility and improved carbon tax reporting efficiency
  • Automated 60% of emissions data collation from electricity meters, electronic invoices, ERP systems, and fugitive emission abatement sensors, ensuring accuracy and improving efficiency for annual carbon emission reporting
  • Improved returns by 20% on certain energy-efficiency projects, thanks to a government rebate for improving the energy efficiency of existing coal-mining infrastructure
  • Increased transparency of the auditing process by enabling auditors to easily track and verify emissions numbers from dashboards, reducing costs and eliminating risk of heavy fines
  • Provided better insight into aggregate forecasts for emissions and associated carbon liability, enabling management to identify eco-innovation opportunities
  • Gained the ability to measure and track diesel and energy consumption in coal-mining machinery and formulate energy-efficiency initiatives to reduce direct emissions and lower energy costs

Why Oracle

Centennial Coal chose Oracle technology because of its robust dashboard capabilities and drill-down features, enabling the company to mitigate its carbon-tax liability and meet its sustainability goals.

“By using Oracle technology, we were confident of achieving greater transparency in our auditing process and support for our innovative carbon-mitigation projects. We can ensure our reports are accurate and meet NGER-compliance-reporting requirements, eliminating the risk of heavy penalties,” Dryden said.

Implementation Process

Centennial Coal began implementing its Oracle-based sustainability-performance-management platform across its portfolio of mines. This involved migrating historical spreadsheet data to the newly consolidated reporting platform and customizing role-based dashboards for stakeholders, including senior managers, engineers, finance team members, and auditors. The company is now working to integrate data from third-party systems, including waste, recycling, and fleet vehicle systems. It expects to substantially streamline 98% of data collation before the next annual reporting period.

Partner

Oracle partner Knowledge Global Pty. Ltd. developed the sustainability-performance-management platform based on Oracle technology, and it worked with Centennial Coal to implement this in each of its mines. Knowledge Global provided support for data migration and designed role-based dashboards for stakeholders.

“With Knowledge Global’s expertise in sustainability analytics and Oracle’s dashboard capabilities, we’ve achieved greater transparency and efficiency in our compliance reporting. We’ve also gained confidence in the reliablity of our reporting, which is a huge benefit for us,” Dryden said.