British frozen food producer 2Sisters has installed a world-first bio-refinery, which is a first step in a new sustainability plan aiming to generate 35,000 tonnes of carbon savings a year and slash the Group’s carbon footprint by 20% by 2018.
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 slash its carbon footprint as the first step in an energy transformation project which will see bio-refineries developed at up to ten 2 Sisters factories over the coming three years. Following these initial installations, the energy-from waste plants could be installed at all 43 factories owned by the 2 Sisters Food Group.
When all the bio-refineries are installed the group expects to make 35,000 tonnes of carbon savings a year. It will also cut 20,000 lorry journeys that would have been used in removing waste which will now be re-processed to generate energy.
Andrew Edlin, group sustainability director for 2 Sisters Food Group stated: “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 3 years, using potato and other food waste to generate energy and steam.”