The four-storey bio-refinery generates energy and steam to help power the manufacturer’s chilled food factory in Carlisle which mainly supplies Marks & Spencer.
2 Sisters said the bio-refinery will produce 3,500 MWh of electricity per year, enough to power about 850 homes a year, and 5,000 MWh per year in steam.
2 Sisters group sustainability director Andrew Edlin said: “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.
‘10 further energy plants’
“We are looking to use this system to open up to 10 further energy plants at other 2 Sisters factories over the coming three years, using potato and other food waste to generate energy and steam.”
The bio-refinery uses anaerobic digestion processes powered by potato waste from the plant’s mashed potato and pie production lines.
Any waste left over from bio-refining can be reused as fertiliser, which will help 2 Sisters in its bid to eliminate landfill waste by 2017, it said.
After the 10 installations already in the pipeline, waste-power plants could be rolled out to the rest of the 43 factories owned by 2 Sisters.
The bio-refineries will be run by renewable energy expert H2 Energy in partnership with the food manufacturer.
Sustainability plan launch
2 Sisters has also launched a sustainability plan, Feeding Our Future, which includes targets on food waste, water supply and carbon footprint reduction.
“We live in a world affected by a perfect storm of population growth, resource depletion, rising energy costs, financial pressure on communities and unprecedented demands on land use and availability,” Edlin said.
“These issues affect all our people, partners and businesses, and to ensure our continued success we must face these new challenges.”
View from 2 sisters
“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.”
- Andrew Edlin, group sustainability director at 2 Sisters