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Orkla Kumla inaugurates bioheat plant

Orkla Kumla inaugurates bioheat plant
Nina Tidén (left), Operations Director of Orkla Foods Sverige, and Malin Löwek, Acting Plant Manager Orkla Närke, assist Andreas Brorson (centre) Chair of the Executive Committee, Kumla Municipality, and the Orkla boiler crew with the ribbon cutting ceremony. 

In Sweden, Orkla Foods Sverige, a subsidiary of Norway-headed Orkla ASA, a leading Nordic supplier of branded consumer goods, has officially inaugurated a new pellet-fired bioheat plant at its Orkla Kumla food production facility in Kumla.

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Orkla Kumla is where the preparation and production of several Swedish food brand classics, such as Felix Risgröt, BOB juice, and Ekström’s blueberry soup, takes place.

On an annual basis, around 160 employees produce some 65 000 tonnes of foodstuffs making it one of the largest Orkla food production sites in Sweden in terms of product tonnage.

We are very happy that today we are taking the next big step to change our entire food production to a completely fossil-free operation. The food we eat has a major impact on our ability to achieve the climate goals, and as one of Sweden’s largest food producers, it goes without saying for us to also be part of the solution, said Nina Tidén, Operations Director for Orkla Foods Sverige in her inauguration address.

Orkla has invested approximately SEK 30 million (≈ EUR 2.8 million) of which approximately SEK 10 million (≈ EUR 934 000) is in the form of an investment grant from the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency’s “Climate Step” (Klimatklivet) program, a Swedish government scheme to support local climate investments.

Switching to renewable energy costs money but is extremely central to us reaching our climate goals. The investment could not have been carried out at the same pace without support from Klimatklivet, which has been very valuable. Continuing to work with energy efficiency is also extremely important to us, it means that both our costs and our climate impact are reduced, said Nina Tidén.

Powered by pellets

Nina Tidén, Operations Director of Orkla Foods Sverige.

Already operational for a number of months, the new 5 MW biomass steam boiler plant is powered by wood pellets, which are made from by-products from the forest and wood processing industry.

By replacing LPG with pellets as fuel for the production processes, the plant’s environmental impact is estimated to be reduced by 90 percent of carbon dioxide equivalents (CO2eq).

The electricity that Orkla Kumla uses at the site is already fossil-free because it is purchased with Guarantees of Origin (GO) from Orkla’s own hydropower plants in Norway.

More work to be done

Orkla Kumla is the fourth Orkla food processing plant in Sweden that has switched to 100 percent fossil-free energy in its production processes.

Nonetheless, work remains to be done and the group has set aggressive goals to reduce the climate footprint of the company’s operations.

Orkla Foods Sverige aims to use only fossil-free energy sources in all its production sites by 2030.

Furthermore, it aims to achieve net zero emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG) throughout the value chain by 2045, targets that are approved by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi).

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