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BENEO plant to get 'green makeover'

By Bethan Grylls

- Last updated on GMT

BENEO's Wigjmaal plant expected to have new heat pump in operation by June 2024
BENEO's Wigjmaal plant expected to have new heat pump in operation by June 2024

Related tags Investment Sustainability Equipment

The installation of the heat pump at its site in Wijgmaal, Belgium this summer will enable energy to be recovered from waste water, dropping BENEO’s CO2 emissions significantly.

The rice ingredients produced at the BENEO Wijgmaal facility are used by food manufacturers worldwide across a range of products, from dough, to puddings, to soups.

Manufacturing speciality rice ingredients involves both a wet extraction operation and a drying process, which requires very high temperatures. Presently, the energy for the drying process of rice starch or rice protein at the site is derived from natural gas.

The new heat pump provided by Heaten will significantly reduce the company’s natural gas consumption, giving way to a process that generates enough energy from the waste water to contribute to the drying.

Roland Vanhoegaerden, the operations managing director for specialty rice ingredients at BENEO said this represents an important sustainability milestone for the business.

“We’ve spent several months installing heat exchangers and additional piping at our Wijgmaal factory, with the heat pump expected to be operational in June 2024.”

This installation is the latest in a series of sustainable shifts for BENEO, with the Wijgmaal plant having previously had frequency converters fitted to improve energy efficiency. On a wider scale, BENEO also buys 100% green electricity from its supplier and has lowered its carbon emissions generated from transport after halving its inland European freight movement from road to river.

But Vanhoegaerden says this latest improvement is just one of many to follow in the future: “The heat pump is our next but not our final step. It is the continuation of an integrated approach across our value chain that BENEO will undertake for the years to come.”

Elsewhere, brewery Adnams has responded to rumours about its potential sale.

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