Cavendish Farms unveils biogas facility
June 19, 2009 By Marg Land
June 19, 2009, New Annan, PEI – Cavendish Farms has unveiled a new
element in the company’s environmental action plan, and a first for the
potato industry in North America.
June 19, 2009, New Annan, PEI – Cavendish Farms has unveiled a new element in the company’s environmental action plan, and a first for the potato industry in North America.
“We are proud to unveil our biogas facility as an example of our corporate approach to researching, investing and implementing innovative new ways that we can create sustainable and environmentally friendly processing methodologies,” said Robert Irving, president of Cavendish Farms. “This is the first facility in the potato industry to take solid potato waste and convert it into usable energy.”
While most facilities treat wastewater produced from processing, the Cavendish biogas facility also takes the solid waste material from potato processing and, through anaerobic digestion, converts it into energy for the Cavendish processing plants.
“The investment in this new technology benefits our environment while being financially beneficial to our business model,” said Irving. “It is a true win-win for Prince Edward Island.”
This marks the single biggest reduction in greenhouse gases on the Island. Among the many environmental benefits the new plant will help achieve are: 30 to 35 per cent reduction in the overall carbon footprint of the potato processing plants; a reduced dependence on fossil fuel used to power the boilers in the processing plants (about 10 million liters per year); fewer trucks required to bring fuel to the plant; the elimination of the need for trucks to remove potato waste from the plant, (reducing the trucking requirements of the processing plants operation by 1450 KM per day) ; and the creation of an organic, natural fertilizer that can be used on fields in place of potato waste.
The reduction of green house gas emissions alone is expected to be 35 kilo tones (KT), which represents a reduction of 30 to 35 per cent for the Cavendish Farms operation. This is equivalent to taking 7,300 cars off the road for one year.
The original idea for the facility was explored in 2004, with development beginning in earnest in 2006. The project was led by the Irving Engineering Team with support by Stantec Engineering from Fredericton and the German firm of Krieg & Fischer Engineering GmbH, an engineering company specializing in biogas plant design around the world. During construction, the plant generated approximately 81,500 person hours of work and utilized the goods and services of 23 P.E.I. companies.
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