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CO2-Neutral Raclette Cheese From Emmi

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CO2-Neutral Raclette Cheese From Emmi

CO2-Neutral Raclette Cheese From Emmi
December 05
10:06 2013

Manufacturing dairy products is energy intensive. Most of the energy Emmi currently consumes comes from the fossil fuel natural gas. One of the Swiss dairy company’s stated aims is to use lower carbon alternatives where possible.

 A forward-looking solution has been developed by the Landquart site, which specialises in manufacturing raclette cheese, and local waste management company GEVAG. From 2015, GEVAG will supply a minimum of 4.5 gigawatt hours of CO2-neutral district heating.

Emmi needs about 330 gigawatt hours (GWh) of energy to make its dairy products in Switzerland each year. The facility in Landquart alone needs 5.4 GWh of gas-generated heat as energy-intensive processes are needed not just to manufacture but also to store cheese under optimal climatic conditions. This is equivalent to the energy needs of 1,200 average Swiss households. Gas, currently supplied by natGAS, is the most important energy source.

From autumn 2015, natural gas will be completely replaced by CO2-neutral energy from the GEVAG district steam grid. Generating 4.5 megawatt hours of energy from waste prevents an estimated 1,200 tonnes of CO2 from being released into the atmosphere.

Werner Sutter, Emmi’s operations manager at Landquart, says: “A Swiss waste incineration plant is a very environmentally friendly way of obtaining energy. We are therefore delighted with our partnership with GEVAG, which will mean we will be able to make Emmi’s raclette cheese in an even more cost-effective and environmentally sustainable manner.” 

In 2010, GEVAG, the municipal association for waste disposal in Grisons, took the decision to build a district heating system. Since 2011, this has been supplying thermal energy in the form of hot water to the company Fernwärme Chur. The association is now investing in an expansion of the grid to supply other industry partners in the region, like Emmi in Landquart. Expanding the district steam grid in Landquart will cost just under SFr2 million.

Construction work is expected to begin in early 2014 and take around six months. Commissioning is planned for October 2014.

The Emmi Group has been a member of the Energy Agency for Industry (EnAW) since 2003 and reviews its energy policy on a regular basis to continually optimise its energy requirements. Emmi is working to improve its energy efficiency and replace CO2-intensive energy sources with lower-carbon alternatives. Where technically and economically feasible, for example, oil-fired systems are being replaced with gas-fired ones, and renewable energy sources are being used such as wood in Emmen and Bischofszell and solar power in Bever and Saignelégier.

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