SWITZERLAND – Swiss Technology Company Bühler Group and clean energy company Vyncke have formed a strategic partnership to offer sustainable energy solutions to food companies.
According to statement from Bühler, the two companies will seek to offer customers integrated solutions that transform biomass side stream products into clean process energy while reducing the customers’ carbon footprint.
Biomass by-products are generated in almost all food processes. Typical examples are the processing of grains, rice, corn, and cocoa.
These by-products are often either used for animal feed or simply disposed of.
Bühler says that adoption of these solutions will take advantage of these by-products to create clean energy, reducing dependency on fossil fuels by 20%-100%, depending on the raw material and side stream products.
This means that in some cases, food plants can become fully carbon neutral.
“This partnership is a key element in our strategy to massively reduce CO2 in the value chains of our customers,” says Johannes Wick, CEO of Bühler Grains & Food.
Expansion of a malt production plant for Malteria Oriental S.A.
The first focus of the partnership is the segments of cocoa, oat, and malt processing.
One particularly important joint project will be the expansion of a malt production plant for Bühler’s long-time business partner, Malteria Oriental S.A. in Montevideo, Uruguay.
In the project, Vyncke will be responsible for recovering thermal energy from biomass, which is a by-product of malt production.
It will build a turn-key 20-megawatt superheated water boiler with dual combustion systems which will burn internal barley husks and plant rejects, completed by externally sourced wood chips.
This will save 35,000 tons of CO2 emissions each year compared to standard operational practices in Uruguay.
With new equipment, digital services and retrofit offerings, Bühler already made strong progress in making its solutions more energy efficient.
“By adding Vyncke’s energy recovery processes to our portfolio, we can offer our customers low- to zero-carbon food solutions,” says Johannes Wick.
energy procurement as a strategic area in the value chain
Outside of energy-intensive industries, most companies have tended to view energy procurement as a cost to be managed rather than a strategic area in the value chain.
Yet today, energy is becoming one of the most important levers for business success.
With their cooperation, Bühler Group and Vyncke are addressing this issue to develop solutions for more sustainable food production – with holistic process chains in which energy recovery is integrated so that external energy consumption and energy costs can be reduced.
This not only contributes to greater sustainability, but also opens competitive advantages for food producers through greater energy efficiency.
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