With an energy consumption equivalent to that of a midsized provincial town, the DuPont Nutrition & Health plant in Grindsted is switching to carbon-neutral production. Three-digit millions of Danish kroner have been invested in a new facility for the plant, bidding farewell to coal and heralding in wood chips.
The facility will be officially opened on Monday, 25 September by Lars Chr. Lilleholt, Danish Minister of Energy, Utilities and Climate.
"The investment spells an end to the 45,000 tonnes or so of carbon dioxide previously emitted by our coal-fired plant. Because the new facility also allows us to supply the district heating network in Grindsted with more surplus heat, thereby displacing fossil fuel in that system too, we are well on the way to removing 64,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide a year. So, this project allows us to remove more CO2 than we ourselves used to generate," says Martin K. Madsen, Plant Manager at DuPont Nutrition & Health.
Consumption similar to a midsized town
The plant produces food ingredients using an energy-intensive process corresponding to the amount of heat used by more than 10,000 houses. It has its own power plant which meets most of its needs. However, as Martin K. Madsen stresses, some electricity still has to be bought in.
"We are part of a global group, DuPont Nutrition & Health, which is looking to eliminate the use of coal as a source of combustion and increase its use of renewable energy at its manufacturing sites. I am proud that here in Grindsted we are implementing the biggest single project in that respect. I know that our management is impressed by how a long-term Danish policy is making it possible to create synergies between industry and people locally," says Martin K. Madsen.
The project is part-financed from a funding pot for renewable energy provided by the Danish Ministry of Energy, Utilities and Climate. The main items eating up the budget are a large storehouse for the wood chips, a rebuilt boiler to produce steam, and a unit for purifying excess steam before it is discharged through the chimney to extract heat as district heating.
Satisfies 50 per cent of the town's thermal energy needs
At GEV (Grindsted El- og Varmeværk), CEO René Heiselberg Gier is happy that his neighbour from across the road, the DuPont Nutrition & Health plant, will be able to supplement GEV's own wood chips unit, which dates back to 2015.
- When planning the plant layout, we knew that we would obtain an agreement with DuPont. It meant that we could do with a smaller plant than originally envisaged, says René Heiselberg Gier.
"DuPont will supply up to 50 per cent of our total heat production. It is a really great and flexible solution, which is totally in line with our vision of being a sustainable and innovative business. Our own changeover to wood chips means that, together with the supply from DuPont, we will be able to provide our 3,600 consumers with environment-friendly heating at a very affordable price," says René Heiselberg Gier.
HedeDanmark is to supply the wood chips for the new facility and must prove that it uses sustainable logging, prioritising thinning and the planting of new trees over the felling of entire woodland areas. It is also part of the agreement that HedeDanmark takes the ash back. The major part will be reused in the forest to recirculate as many nutrients as possible.
The annual consumption of the plant is expected to be 55,000 tonnes of wood chips, replacing 18,000 tonnes of coal. It will make DuPont Nutrition & Health in Grindsted one of the biggest consumers of wood chips in Denmark.
About DuPont Nutrition & Health
DuPont Nutrition & Health, a business unit of DowDuPont Specialty Products Division, combines in-depth knowledge of food and nutrition with current research and expert science to deliver unmatched value to the food, beverage and dietary supplement industries. We are innovative solvers, drawing on deep consumer insights and a broad product portfolio to help our customers turn challenges into high-value business opportunities. More information is available at www.food.dupont.com.
About DowDuPont Specialty Products Division
DowDuPont Specialty Products, a division of DowDuPont (NYSE: DWDP), is a global innovation leader with technology-based materials, ingredients and solutions that help transform industries and everyday life. Our employees apply diverse science and expertise to help customers advance their best ideas and deliver essential innovations in key markets including electronics, transportation, building and construction, health and wellness, food and worker safety. DowDuPont intends to separate the Specialty Products division into an independent, publicly traded company. More information can be found www.dow-dupont.com.