17 April 2023
Imola (BO), April 2023. Italian cured meats have always been considered an excellence in the world. In 2021, the cured meats industry had a turnover of €8.2 billion*, despite the unfavorable economic situation of the last period, confirming growth compared to the previous year.
Clai (Imola Agricultural Workers Cooperative) is an agricultural cooperative that operates in the agri-food industry, both in the cured meats sector, with a specialization in the salami area, as well as in the fresh meat, cheese and dairy products sectors. This cooperative, strongly linked to the local territory, was founded in 1962 and boasts 245 members, more than 570 employees, 3 production plants, 1 breeding farm, 350 hectares of land and 7 shops direct to the public.
Clai has taken on the challenge of rationalizing energy consumption and reducing its environmental impact, opting for the cogeneration solutions offered by AB, the global reference point of this sector. The AB plant was installed in the Via San Silvestro facility, in Faenza (RA), based on the positive results obtained thanks to the previous experience with a biogas plant built in 2012, with the cogeneration solution considered quite effective to reduce energy costs and decrease the environmental impact of production activities.
The cogeneration unit was built by AB in the second half of 2020 and came into operation in February 2021. The plant boasts an electrical power of 900 kWt and the energy produced is almost totally used for the production site. The plant has a thermal power of 935 kWt and the heat recovered through the boiler is used directly in the production process or to heat water (as well as steam), for use by the facility. The overall benefits consist in a reduction in energy consumption by about 20-25%, a cut in electricity and methane bills by the same percentage and a reduction in the emission of CO2 into the atmosphere by about 1070 tons per year. At a time characterized by the ongoing energy crisis and insecurity, a company’s ability to reduce energy costs can really make a difference.
The success of the collaboration between Clai and AB has led to the development of two other projects, currently in the design phase. The executive design and construction of a trigeneration plant (production of electricity and heat from which hot water and cold water is obtained using an absorber) is underway on the Imola site. In addition, a project for the installation of a plant to obtain biomethane from the existing biogas production plant is also underway.
*ISMEA data (institute of services for the agricultural food market)
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Clai Sca (www.clai.it)
Clai (Imola Agricultural Workers Cooperative) is an agricultural cooperative that, since 1962, operates in the agri-food industry, both in the cured meats sector, with a specialization in the salami area, as well as in the fresh pork and beef meat sectors. CLAI’s distinctive strength is its ability to combine breeding and production in an integrated and controlled supply chain. CLAI’s history is based on a strong sense of social responsibility, an identifying component of the Cooperative. Recognizing and enhancing the value of people, of the environment, of the historical, cultural and sporting heritage, as well as the search for sustainable action, have characterized CLAI’s daily work and the pursuit of continuous development since its foundation. The acquisitions made in recent years fit precisely into this logic: the historic Zuarina ham factory, renowned for the quality and sweetness of its Parma hams, and the Faggiola Cooperative, a typical expression of the Tuscan-Romagna dairy craftsmanship.