The energy efficiency of our production plants reduces the company’s emissions as well as costs.
The fate of the environment – already seriously compromised by the over-exploitation of resources, harmful emissions and damage to ecosystems – is in the hands of every single person from the consumer to the entrepreneur, and from the farmer to the politician. The choices for saving the planet are available to everyone. And some actions have a bigger impact than others, especially if taken in the areas that produce the most pollution. Industrial production, for example, is the main source of CO2 emissions through its large consumption of energy.
According estimates by ENEA, the Italian National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development, the Italian industrial sector requires power consumption of about 12.08 Mtoe (million tonnes of oil equivalent) . “A new approach to the sustainable management of the agro-industrial sector is now an obvious choice,” says the director of the department of biotechnology, agro-industry and health protection of ENEA, Luigi Rossi.
This is precisely the direction taken by the Fumagalli group, through the development of a programme to improve the energy efficiency of its production facilities and the use of a cogeneration system that will ensure the reduction of electricity consumption and the recovery of thermal energy.
“With the optimization of the cold chain,” says Cesare Fumagalli, president of the group which bears his family name, “we were able to reduce our energy consumption and environmental impact and to increase the re-use of heat. We obtained the first result by renewing half of the refrigeration unit, thereby managing to produce more cold with less current.
We then opted for the use of ammonia as the refrigerant gas of the system, both for its energy properties and its environmental characteristics. Finally, we recover part of the heat generated by the system’s motor and we use it for the production of hygienic hot water”. In parallel, we have created a cogeneration plant for the production of electricity from natural gas. “The heat produced,” concludes Cesare Fumagalli, “will be used for cooking, in the ageing phase of production and, last but not least, for heating”. The plant start-up is expected in early November.