Leading manufacturer of plastics packaging for the food industry, Færch Plast is generating so much extra climate-friendly energy as a bi-product of its production process, that it is able to heat not only its own Danish head office, but also the premises of neighbouring companies.
Based in the western Jutland town of Holstebro, Færch Plast extrudes film and thermoforms packaging around the clock, 361 days a year. The excess energy produced in its plastics factory has been used to heat its 11,000-squaremetre warehouse via the latest heat pump technology, halving the company’s heating bill in the process, and reducing CO2 emissions by an estimated 60% per annum. That’s the equivalent of the electricity used by 55 average households.
Henrik Tornager Andersen, the company’s Energy and Environmental Technician, explains: “Our machinery operates at high temperatures and needs to be cooled down. We use a groundwater cooling system in the summer to store the heat in the ground below the factory. However, we have found that we are unable to cool the ground water enough in the winter by ourselves so we have offered the excess to our neighbours. That way they can avoid burning gas or oil for heating.”
He continues: “Færch Plast only needs around 20% of the waste heat, so we have offered our neighbours energy for free, resulting in substantial energy savings for them and a huge benefit for the environment.”
Initially, immediate neighbours ElefantRiste and Sawo, whose businesses are located close to the existing cooling water pipe which travels between Færch Plast’s factory and warehouse, are benefiting from this gesture. However, it is hoped that the entire commercial area in Holstebro will benefit, as well as the town’s new sports stadium and a large local supermarket Bilka. They simply have to invest in a heat pump system and be coupled to the cooling water pipe.
Henrik concludes: “The pipeline carries water at a temperature of 25°C 150 meters into the industrial area. Local businesses can use as much of this water as they would like.
“They just have to return the same water to us 5°C colder than they received it, then they are also able to slash their heating costs by 50 to 60% and help us to cut the cost of cooling ground water.”
In addition to reducing CO2 emissions by an estimated 98 tons per annum, significantly reducing the environmental impact, Færch Plast is saving approximately 83.000 M3 per year of natural gas and around 40.000 kWh electricity per year on cooling groundwater, making a total saving equivalent to around 208 tonnes of CO2.
Environmental concerns are a top priority for the company, which aims to minimise any negative impact its production and products may have on the planet. In 2007 it established a set of targets for the following five years, aimed at ‘achieving positive results through the optimisation of environmental conditions’.
MD of Surrey-based Faerch Plast Ltd, Joe Iannidinardo, said: “The plastics industry has found itself at the centre of negative publicity over the years, and has often been criticised for its effect on the environment. So, it is particularly gratifying to have this good news story, which can only be of benefit to the company, its customers and the environment in general.”
For information on Færch Plast Ltd’s products please contact: Joe Iannidinardo
Tel: 020 8254 2300