Industry: from gas to heat pumps

Published on 05 September 2023

Testimonial by Martin van Putten, Program Manager in the Netherlands at Emmi, the leading Swiss manufacturer of high-quality dairy products.

Martin van Putten
Martin van Putten Program Manager chez Emmi, aux Pays-Bas

We have built a second goat milk powder factory in Etten-Leur in the Nether-lands, right next to our existing site that’s been operating since 2013. The new facility will enable us to meet growing demand for powdered infant formula, while diversifying our range of milk-based end products. Operational in autumn 2022, the new factory will be highly energy-efficient. It will help Emmi to achieve its goal to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 60% by 2027 and achieve its vision of becoming carbon neutral by 2050.

Our new goat milk powder plant is a showcase for eco- and energy efficiency that will help Emmi achieve its vision of becoming carbon neutral by 2050.”
Martin van Putten
Martin van Putten, Program manager in the Netherlands at Emmi

Our production process will be powered mainly by an electric heat pump, rather than a conventional steam system normally fed by natural gas. This is a first in the Netherlands, where a transformation like this is unheard of for a company of our size! Thanks to this operation, we’ll be able to reduce our CO2 emissions by more than 6,000 tonnes per year. To give another example, we also plan to transfer the milk condensate generated during the production process back into the water circuit, which will help us to lower our water consumption by almost 20%.

At each stage of the production and building design process, our project team sought to use the most energy-efficient technologies. For instance, we invested in new-generation air compressors that recover and feed back into the production system the energy used to cool them. And since our two plants will be interconnected, the current site will also benefit from all these advances.

As a systems integrator, SPIE played a critical role in making all this possible. We’ve entrusted the Group with a wide-ranging project encompassing heating, ventilation and air conditioning, piping, electrical systems and instrumentation, and utility services and building management. SPIE’s employees have worked hand in hand with all our partners in different countries using our digital building information modelling (BIM) tool. They were also able to turn our innovative ideas into realistic and effective solutions. Today I’m proud of everything that’s been accomplished.