The initial stage of the contract, which Liverpool-based partner H2 Energy estimated was worth £45M, entails installing bio-refineries at all of 2 Sisters’ 43 UK factories. The units will convert product waste and animal by-products into power and heat.
2 Sisters’ factories in Carlisle, Flixton, Willand, Scunthorpe, Coupar Angus, McIntosh Donald, Bodmin, Anglesey, Sandycroft and Merthyr Tydfil will initially undergo the renewable energy overhaul in phase one of the project. That programme is scheduled for completion in December 2015.
The company claimed the entire scheme would enable it to cut 35,000t of greenhouse gas emissions, a 10% reduction in non-transport-related emissions.
It would also reportedly create up to 150 local jobs to start with, with more potentially in the pipeline.
20,000 journeys scrapped
In addition, 2 Sisters said the process would slash lorry movements previously required to transport waste off-site for further handling. Almost 20,000 truck journeys would be scrapped in the first stage alone, reducing congestion and pollution.
The first facility to get the treatment will be its Cavaghan & Gray site in Carlisle, which makes a range of ready meals for leading retailers. The bio-refinery would produce up to 3,500MWh/year of electricity and about 5,000MWh/year of processing steam, said 2 Sisters.
The firm expected the electricity – equivalent to the amount used annually by 750 UK homes – to provide more than 20% of the plant’s needs. The process steam generated would provide a significant quantity of the site’s requirements, it believed.
Enough for 10,000 homes
Phase one is projected to deliver up to 40,000MWh of electricity and 70,000MWh of thermal energy into 2 Sisters a year – enough to power a town with 10,000 homes.
H2 Energy’s contract covers the design, manufacture, construction and operation of all the bio-refineries.
“This is absolutely cutting-edge, not just for the food industry, but for the UK,” said Andrew Edlin, sustainability and environment director for 2 Sisters. “Producing over 100,000MWh of energy on our sites fundamentally changes their energy profile.
“This is a true demonstration of our commitment to sustainability and innovation and highlights how we want to engage with innovators to meet our sustainable development goals.”
H2 Energy ceo William Shotton said the company was “absolutely delighted with the partnership”.