Distell, a global beverage company with a wide range of award-winning brands, such as Amarula, Savanna, Hunter’s Dry, and many others, continues to ramp-up its sustainability efforts. A combined heat and power (CHP) unit from SustainPower was installed recently at its Springs cider manufacturing operation to convert the effluent treatment plant’s biogas by-product into power.
Courtesy of SustainPower
This is the first step to making the effluent treatment plant energy-neutral in the short-term, and energy-positive in the future.
SustainPower provides modular gas-to-power solutions for biogas, natural gas, and landfill gas that are housed and transported in custom-fitted shipping containers. Based in Cape Town, with clients throughout Africa, they provide sustainable, clean power to industries and commerce in the developing world.
Distell’s effluent treatment plant, which processes wastewater from the beverage making process, is designed to produce up to 100m³ per hour of high-grade biogas with methane levels consistently hovering around 90%. The SustainPower SP-550-BG-CHP, which harvests the mechanical energy from the generator and the thermal energy from the combustion process, provides up to 450kW of electrical power and has 500kW of thermal energy available for use in the plant process.
“Distell is committed to leaving a positive legacy, which means finding opportunities at each point along its value chain to do more, be better, and foster positive change”, says Daniel Melenas, engineering manager at Distell Springs. For him, seeing such a high-quality product being built locally is a good thing. “We chose SustainPower because of their local presence and high-quality design and build. It was also impressive to see the machine produce electricity within only three days after arriving on-site,” he concluded
As a result of the SustainPower CHP installation, Distell now enjoys an average daily energy reduction of 5500 kWh. This translates to a 6.7% overall reduction in electricity expenses for the Distell’s Springs plant. The CHP unit has also brought about a significant reduction in greenhouse emissions of approximately 150 tons of CO2 per month.
Rob Craig, head of Product Development at SustainPower, said, “We’re not only focused on power generation that is sustainable, but also on a product that is sustainable and can meet the rigorous demands made on it over its lifetime. Thus, the real heart of ‘sustainable’ power generation.’”