Heinz has signed a 15-year contract with energy services company Dalkia which will see a £5.3m high-efficiency energy centre installed at Europe's largest canning plant.
Dalkia will design, build and operate the energy centre at Kitt Green near Wigan, where it will generate up to 140t of steam an hour for canning lines.
The site produces 1.34bn cans of food each year, including Heinz 57 baked beans.
Construction has started, with completion scheduled for the middle of 2005.
Using the latest low nitrogen oxide burner technology and a condensing economiser the centre will transform over £3.5m worth of gas into steam each year with a claimed efficiency of around 88%.
The centre will have four of the largest shell and tube steam boilers in the UK. The unmanned facility will be supervised around the clock from Dalkia's Coventry monitoring centre.