UK frozen vegetable firm receives new Entrade biomass energy units

Frozen vegetable company Greenyard Frozen will receive new Entrade biomass energy units that will provide clean electricity, heating and cooling for two UK sites.

Entrade is a Germany-headquarted biomass equipment specialist.

Thirty-two new biomass units will replace old gas boilers and electric heating units at Greenyard Frozen’s operations at Kings Lynn and Boston, achieving overall CO2 emission reductions of approximately 10,000 tons per year.

The 32 modular plants will be fuelled by wooden pellets, converted from discarded vegetable boxes, using Entrade’s high-temperature cogeneration carbon-conversion process.

Four of the E4 power plant units will be situated in two stacked 40-foot-containers and work in accordance with the combined cooling, heat and power (CCHP) principle. In this process solid biomass, such as wood waste pressed into pellet form, is thermally converted at high temperature. The generated syngas is used as fuel in a gas engine that powers a generator, with minimal particle emissions and ash as a by-product.

The total capacity of the units will be approximately 1.8MW electric and 3.8MW thermal energy. Each unit has an overall capacity of 55kW electric and 12 kW thermal. For cooling generated heat is converted directly by silica gel adsorption chillers that transfer excess heat into cold water provided to the vegetable blanching process. Therefore chilled water is ensured onsite, replacing the old energy-intensive compression refrigeration machines.

A variety of biomass

Entrade power plants can run on a variety of woody biomass. The company is developing its technology to be fuelled by a range of other materials, including nutshells, plastic waste and discarded tyres.

Greenyard Frozen’s set-up will include a pellet line installed onsite that processes fuel pellets from wooden vegetable boxes currently used by Greenyard in large quantities and normally discarded at the end of their life.

UK-based renewables project developer Mistral Renewable Energy will install the units in coming weeks, while Los Angeles-based company Arensis financed the project and will handle ongoing operation.

With annual sales revenues of almost €4.25 billion, the Belgian Greenyard Group is considered one of the world’s market leaders in fresh and prepared fruits and vegetables. The company’s production of frozen food is handled by the Greenyard Frozen division, formerly Pinguin, which operates the large Boston and Kings Lynn production sites in eastern England.

Greenyard Frozen UK director, Nigel Terry, said: “Together with quality and efficiency, sustainability does not only form the backbone of Greenyard, it also provides the foundation for the growth of our company. For this reason, the company relies on electricity from renewable sources for the energy-intensive processing of vegetables into frozen foods – wherever this is feasible.”

Entrade CEO, Julien Uhlig, said: “Industrial scale food processing has global market potential and by using power, heating and cooling from the E4s, that will drastically reduce operational costs and Greenyard’s carbon footprint. The close collaboration with Greenyard is a significant milestone for us.”

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