Andrew Edlin described the technology behind the plant as "super-efficient" and a "world-first".
British food manufacturer 2 Sisters Food Group has opened a potato-powered energy plant as a first step in a new sustainability plan that aims to generate 35,000 tonnes of carbon savings every year, and cut the group’s carbon footprint by 20% during the next three years.
The new bio-refinery at 2 Sisters’ Cavaghan and Gray chilled food factory in Carlisle is the first waste-powered plant of its kind in the world to be used in food manufacturing. It uses four patented anaerobic digestion processes which are linked to extract gas. When fully operational it will produce 3,500 MWh/year in electricity, equivalent to the average annual electricity use of around 850 UK homes, and generate around 5,000 MWh/year in steam.
The energy and steam will be used to help power the Carlisle factory and lower its carbon footprint, as the first step in an energy transformation project that will lead to bio-refineries being developed at up to ten 2 Sisters facilities by 2018.
The bio-refineries are part of an ambitious three-year sustainability plan called Feeding Our Future. The plan also has its sights of cutting food waste 5% year on year, eliminating waste to landfill, cutting water usage by more than 8%, and raising at least £7 per employee per year for charity.
2 Sisters Food Group sustainability director Andrew Edlin said: “As one of the UK’s largest food manufacturers the 2 Sisters Food Group has a responsibility for protecting the environment and ensuring we take a leadership role as a responsible corporate citizen. The launch of the Feeding Our Future sustainability plan sets out clear goals for achieving this.
“The bio-refinery is a world-first for the food industry, using a new type of super-efficient technology to generate energy from potato waste. We are looking to use this system to open up to ten further energy plants at other 2 Sisters factories over the coming three years, using potato and other food waste to generate energy and steam.”
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