Valio has completed what it claims is the “biggest energy-efficiency investment” in its history at its Lapinlahti factory in the North Savo region of Finland.
The introduction of a new flue-gas condenser recovers heat from the factory’s chimney, as well as putting it through a cleaning process. Valio claimed that its factory’s energy consumption will decrease by more than 10% and its greenhouse gasses “by about 10,000 CO2 tonnes per year”.
The Lapinlahti factory requires heat energy for two of its production processes – drying milk powders and cooking cheese. With the new process in place, Valio stated that the factory’s heat energy consumption could decrease by as much as 25,000 MWh per year.
Peter Fabritius, energy manager at Valio, said: “We produce the heat energy needed by our factory primarily using biofuel in a heat plant located on-site. Hot flue gas is generated in conjunction with heat production. Previously, the heat energy contained in the approximate 150°C flue-gas went to waste, but now the flue-gas condenser captures the thermal energy.”
Fabritius added: “Water sprayed into the flue gas absorbs the thermal energy of the flue gas. This combined with the heat pump technology results in 80°C hot water, which we utilise in production and in facility heating. We store the rest of the hot water in the new heat accumulator system.”
The investment includes a flue-gas condenser, heat pump system, heat accumulator and an extension to the factory’s heat distribution network. Adven Oy – a provider of energy and water services, and a partner of Valio – is responsible for the operation and maintenance of the system.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2022
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