Heineken UK goes green
with biomass plants
Heineken UK has invested £35 million in
two biomass plants with the capacity to
produce green electricity and thermal
World ofHeineken 41 winter 2009
"The project is extremely important for Heineken UK as it
demonstrates our commitment to improving our environmental
footprint," said Richard Jeffers, Heineken UK's Engineering Manager.
He points out that the plants represent one of the largest single
investments in renewable technology by a non-utility company in
Construction of the biomass plants, one at Royal Brewery in
Manchester and the other in John Smith's Brewery in Tadcaster,
started in the middle of 2007. The plants have been fully operational
since October this year, and expert teams at the sites are closely
examining the realisation of the new technology in order to further
optimise the plants in the future.
The plants use wood chips, originating from sustainable forests
within the UK, in their boilers to produce steam, which in turn
produces electricity. While this is the technology currently in use,
both plants also have the capability to generate energy from spent
grain originating from the brewery's used malt. "The spent grain is
currently sold as animal feed, but in the future we plan to also use it
as a source to produce energy," Richard says.
The Manchester and Tadcaster plants each have the capacity to
generate up to 37.000 MWH (megawatt hours) of electricity a year,
which covers the breweries' electricity usage. Any excess electricity
generated will be sold back to the National Grid, the country's power
transmission network. Richard points out that the investment in
the biomass plants also "makes good commercial sense, providing
protection from the volatility of the energy markets, as well as
offering additional security of supply."
In addition to producing electricity, each plant also has the capacity to
generate up to 70,800 MWH of thermal energy annually. This amounts
to 60 per cent of the thermal energy needed by the breweries in a
year for the brewing and packaging processes. Work is ongoing at
both sites to maximise the benefit of this heat either within the site,
or in combination with usage by the local community through district
The two plants are expected to reduce carbon emissions by 30,000
kilo tonnes per year. "This is because the energy produced by the
plants comes from renewable sources instead of fossil fuel."