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Ground-breaking £50m ‘energy from food waste’ deal on the menu

By Emma Shotton in Development 03 December 2014
  • Liverpool- based H2 Energy signs contract with leading food manufacturer 2 Sisters Food Group creating 150 local jobs.
  • First phase sees ten 2 Sisters Food Group factories use Bio-Refining to convert product waste to energy
  • First Project already in manufacture for installation in Carlisle
  • Massive green benefits – 35,000 tonnes of carbon savings; 20,000 fewer lorry journeys a year; delivers huge electric and thermal energy boost
  • Reduces 2 Sisters’ non transport carbon footprint by 10%
  • Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson joins H2 Energy and 2 Sisters Food Group bosses at the announcement of major deal

A NEW £50m Bio-Refinery deal masterminded by waste to energy experts H2 Energy is set to transform the energy requirements at one of Britain’s leading food manufacturers.

Liverpool-based H2 Energy Ltd has partnered with 2 Sisters Food Group to install H2 Energy Bio-Refineries at all 2 Sisters 43 factory locations in the UK. Under the terms of the signed contract between H2 Energy and 2 Sisters Food Group -  H2 Energy will design, manufacture, construct, and operate these Bio-Refineries which convert food waste and animal by-products into power and heat.

The deal will create 150 jobs, the majority of them in Liverpool, over the next three years.

The first phase will see the commissioning of Bio-Refineries at ten 2 Sisters locations over the next three years. The selected locations will include food manufacturing, poultry, fish and meat processing sites.

The projects not only provide significant savings in energy and waste management costs by processing the waste where it is produced, but environmentally support the drive towards a lower carbon footprint, zero waste to landfill and delivering the organisations’ sustainability aspirations.

Each Bio-Refinery will be installed as part of 2 Sisters’ strategy to provide ‘on-site embedded renewable energy generation’ from waste and animal by-products produced at each factory, delivering electricity and thermal energy back to site.

H2 Energy opened its Manufacturing and Innovation Centre at Wellington Business Park, North Liverpool in December last year following support from Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson’s Investment Fund, Liverpool Vision, the Mayor’s economic development company and the Local Enterprise Partnership.

William Shotton, CEO of H2 Energy, said: “We are absolutely delighted with the Partnership on embedded generation with 2 Sisters and the benefits of waste treatment at source, decreased vehicle movements and reduced carbon emissions to be achieved by this agreement.”

Andrew Edlin, Sustainability and Environment Director for 2 Sisters Food Group added: “This is absolutely cutting edge, not just for the food industry, but for the UK.  Producing over 100,000 MWh of energy on our sites fundamentally changes their energy profile, and results in carbon saving of over 35,000 tonnes, around 10% of our non-transport footprint. 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.”  

The first project will be at 2 Sisters’ Cavaghan & Gray Site in Carlisle, which manufactures a range of ready meals for leading retailers. The Bio-Refinery will produce up to 3,500 MWh/ year of electricity and about 5,000 MWh/ year of processing steam.  

The electricity, equivalent to the annual use of over 750 homes in the UK, will provide over 20% of the site’s needs.  The process steam will provide a significant quantity of the requirements of the site, reducing reliance on fossil fuels significantly. 

When all ten projects are fully commissioned Phase 1 is projected to deliver up to 40,000 MWh of electricity and 70,000 MWhth of thermal energy into 2 Sisters Food Group a year – that’s enough electricity to power a town with 12,000 homes.

Based on conversion calculations provided by The Carbon Trust, the first phase will deliver annual savings of approximately 35,000 tonnes of carbon.

In addition, the waste conversion at each site means there will be a huge reduction of lorry movements every year – almost 20,000 alone during phase one, bringing a major environmental and road safety benefits for the communities living close to the sites.

Mayor Anderson said: “It is exactly 12 months ago that H2 Energy opened in Liverpool creating much needed jobs in north Liverpool and this multi-million pound contract is a significant milestone for a company that chose Liverpool as the base for its operations.

“I invested in H2 Energy because I was confident that Liverpool would reap the benefits in terms of jobs and opportunities and that faith has again been repaid.

“It’s a priority of mine to promote Liverpool as a great investment and business location and I am delighted for H2 Energy that their business is already going from strength to strength.

“This contract will not only grow the workforce and production levels significantly but also support the plant for the next three years.”

2 Sisters Food Group manufacture a wide range of food products including Goodfellas Pizza, Fox’s Biscuits, Holland’s Pies and Donegal Catch. The company employs around 24,000 people across its 49 sites in the UK, Ireland, Netherlands and Poland with a turnover of £3 billion. 

Their first ten locations to take the bio-refinery are at: Carlisle, Flixton, Willand, Scunthorpe, Coupar Angus, McIntosh Donald, Bodmin, Anglesey, Sandycroft and Merthyr Tydfil.

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