Beneo delivers 40% carbon emissions cuts at Belgian facilities

German-based functional ingredients specialist Beneo has achieved a reported 40% cut in specific carbon emissions at its production facilities in Oreye, Belgium, as part of a decade-long campaign, reports Neill Barston.

According to the company, which produces a number of solutions for confectionery and bakery segments, confirmed its activities concluded with an investment of  €11 million investment into increased energy efficiency measures.

It comes amid a period of further strategic financial development of its facilities, which include an overall €61 million investment in Belgium in the past 12 months, as well as €50 million being dedicated to its rice starch facility in Wijgmaal.

As the business noted, the reductions at Oreye show the company’s continued commitment to prioritising sustainable practices in all of its facilities. This latest development marks an important step for the company, as it drives towards a target of carbon neutrality by 2050.

Key measures instituted by the business include a new gas turbine and heat recovery boiler was installed at the Oreye facility. As well as providing for the company’s own electricity production needs, its latest system also enables the company to export an additional five megawatts to the public electric grid network each year.

Project planning for the system began in 2017. As well as the installation of new equipment, significant civil works had to be undertaken, including the dismantling of old sections of the building and the erection of a new steel structure in the heart of the factory, to house the system. The gas turbine went into pilot operation in August 2019 and is now running at full capacity.

Philippe Dumont, Operations Managing Director at Beneo’s Oreye facility, said: “Sustainable development is a cornerstone of our business strategy and Beneo is committed to achieving carbon neutrality by 2050. The production plant in Oreye continues to contribute to this target with a combination of solutions, including the increased use of renewable energy in future.

“The integration of the new gas turbine system into our existing steam and electricity production is an important part of the energy efficiency program that we began 10 years ago. Our aim was to cut specific carbon emissions on site and to date we have achieved a total reduction of 40%, thanks to significant fuel efficiencies and yield gains.”

In addition, the business explained that it has been producing prebiotic natural chicory root fibres at Oreye since 1992, by using a gentle hot water extraction method. Its resulting dietary fibres inulin and oligofructose are widely used in bakery, confectionery series. The plant has been supported by Oreye’s local agriculture for more than 130 years. Today 700 farmers in the region have a chicory contract with the business, and its plant at the location currently employs 300 people.


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