Beneo moves further towards carbon neutrality at Oreye chicory root fibre plant

The company reports 40% reduction in specific carbon emissions achieved in Belgium production facility.

Beneo has announced a 40% reduction in specific carbon emissions at its Oreye facility in Belgium. According to the company, this achievement is a result of a 10-year programme of energy saving, which closed with an €11 million investment into increased energy efficiency measures. The reductions at Oreye demonstrates Beneo’s continued commitment to prioritising sustainable practices in all of its facilities. This latest development marks an important step for Beneo as it aims for carbon neutrality by 2050.

As part of the investment, a new gas turbine and heat recovery boiler was installed at the Oreye facility. As well as providing for Beneo’s own electricity production needs, the new system also enables the company to export an additional 5mW to the public electric grid network each year.

Project planning for the system began in 2017. In addition to the installation of new equipment, 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 last year, and is now running at full capacity.

Philippe Dumont, operations managing director at Beneo’s Oreye facility, commented: “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 the future.

“The integration of the new gas turbine system into our existing steam and electricity production is an important part of the energy efficiency programme 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.”

Beneo has been producing prebiotic natural chicory root fibres at Oreye since 1992, by using gentle hot water extraction method. The resulting dietary fibres inulin and oligofructose can be used in bakery, cereals, dairy, confectionery and baby food products.

Beneo’s sustainability initiative at Oreye comes as part of an overall €61 million investment in Belgium in the past 12 months. The company also announced a €50 million investment in Beneo’s rice starch facility in Wijgmaal.