British company Clearfleau built an onsite anaerobic digestion plant for Nestlé at its confectionery factory near Newcastle, UK.
One year after commissioning, the plant is converting 53,000 gallons per day of feedstock into renewable energy. This feedstock includes wash waters from the site and 1,200 tons of residual bi-products and ingredients per annum.
The biogas produced is fueling a combined heat and power (CHP) engine, which produces 200 kW used in the confectionery production process. This is about 8 percent of the factory’s power requirements, cutting the annual electricity bill by about $156,000 per year. In addition, the site has registered for the Feed in Tariff, and will receive annual payments of about $391,000 per annum.
Previously, production residues from the factory were discharged to the sewer or fed to pigs. Following the installation of the biogas plant, all bio-degradable production residues are now converted into renewable energy on the factory site.
Onsite treatment of production residues not only helps Nestlé generate electricity but also helps it reduce the wider environmental impact of its business and meet its sustainability goals.
The payback period on Nestlé’s investment in Clearfleau’s plant is predicted to be about five years.