Emmi goes full steam ahead into the future

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Yogurt and cheese from environmentally friendly steam

Swiss quality as a guarantee of success

Emmi is the largest Swiss milk processor and one of the most innovative premium dairies in Europe. In Switzerland, Emmi focuses on the development, production and marketing of a full range of dairy and fresh products as well as on the production, maturing and trading of Swiss cheese. Outside Switzerland, Emmi focuses on markets in Europe and North America with brand concepts and specialities. In fresh products, the focus is on lifestyle, convenience and health products. In cheese, Emmi is positioning itself as the world's leading company for Swiss cheese. Emmi's customers are primarily the retail trade, the food service sector and the food industry. In the 2008 financial year, Emmi generated net sales of CHF 2.7 billion and employed around 3,500 people (full-time equivalents) in Switzerland and abroad.

Focus on renewable energy

Emmi needs 32,000 tonnes of steam per year at its Emmen site for the production of Emmi Energy Milk, Lucerne cream cheese, yogurt and the like. This amount was previously generated using heating oil. In order to reduce the massive CO2 emissions and save costs, Emmi has decided to produce around 70 % of the steam with renewable energy in future. Construction work therefore began in mid-November 2008 on a woodchip plant on the neighboring property of Amstutz Holzenergie. The plant will be financed and operated under a contract model by ewl energie wasser luzern. The total investment amounts to around CHF 3.5 million.

Continuous measures to improve the environmental balance sheet

Since 2005, Emmi has been working purposefully towards achieving the CO2 target agreement in 2012, which means a reduction in CO2 intensity to 79.18 % and an increase in energy efficiency of 12.18 % compared with 2000. Emmi will exceed this target agreement with the Swiss Confederation, not least thanks to the woodchip plant now in operation in Emmen.

Exploiting synergies: Contracting model

With the implementation of a steam center powered by wood chips, Emmi can obtain around 70 % of its process heat CO2-free. The plant was implemented by ewl using a contracting model. The contractor finances the entire plant and is responsible for its operation. The company Amstutz Holzenergie provides the building, is responsible for the delivery of the wood chips and takes care of maintenance and operation on behalf of ewl. The Schmid plant produces 22,000 tons of steam annually. This corresponds to an equivalent heating oil saving of 1.6 million liters of heating oil per year or around 4,210 tons of CO2. The steam is connected to the current steam center via pipes. The existing steam plant will remain in operation in order to cover peak times and to be secured in case of revisions.

Ecological added value

The ecological added value of the entire project is very great for the region of Central Switzerland. The savings in heating oil correspond to the needs of around 1,000 single-family homes - a respectable reduction in CO2 emissions. The Lucerne region has enough forest that can be used sensibly for this energy-intensive operation.
Emmi is setting an example for its milk suppliers with this project, as many farmers are also major forest owners. Synergies can therefore be
can be optimally exploited.

Residual heat used

The steam boiler has a boiler water cooling system with an output of 120 kW. In addition, further waste heat from degassing with an output of around 70 kW is produced. This heat is not simply released unused to the outside air, but is used for space heating at the Amstutz company.

The essentials in brief

area of application
Steam generation for Emmi Frischprodukte AG, Emmen

Forest chips

type of combustion system
UTSR-3200.32 moving grate furnace

Heating capacity
2'800 kW

Steam production
4'000 kg/h

Operating pressure
14 bar

Moving floor

Exhaust gas dedusting
electrostatic precipitator (max. 20mg/Nm3 fine dust)

June 2009

CO2 substitution
4'210 tons per year

Savings heating oil
1.6 million liters of heating oil / year

ewl energie wasser luzern, CH-6002 Lucerne

Amstutz Holzenergie, CH-6032 Emmen