01 February 2022
Usmate Velate (MB) – February 1, 2022. The global challenge, which today is involving society as a whole, is to reconcile economic growth with energy efficiency and environmental sustainability, for the good of the planet. The Granarolo Group, company that has always been attentive to these issues, has recently taken on the challenge of rationalising energy consumption and reducing the environmental impact at its plant in Usmate Velate (MB), opting for cogeneration. The Group has, in fact, chosen E.ON as its partner, a leading operator in the energy sector, which, using the advanced technology offered by AB, an international leader in this sector, has designed a system for the integrated production of electricity and thermal energy.
The Usmate Velate plant, which joined the Group in 2012 following the acquisition of the Lat Bri dairy company, is one of Granarolo’s largest and ranks third in terms of the production of fresh cheese in Italy. The plant has a total area of about 107,000 m2 and processes about 1,100 tons of milk per year, for the production of mozzarella, scamorza, mascarpone, ricotta and cheese snacks. In this plant, cogeneration is a fundamental asset for energy production, given that about 97% of consumption is covered by this technology. The plant, in fact, has an electricity consumption of about 3 gigawatt hours per month and heat consumption, which varies depending on the season, of about 600,000 standard cubic metres. AB’s advanced cogeneration system allows the production of electrical energy, which is distributed throughout the plant and used by all the machinery, together with thermal energy (hot water), for which a dedicated district heating network has been designed, both to preheat/heat the offices, as well as to heat water in the basic pasteurisation processes. Two cogeneration plants have been installed – a 3.3 megawatts and a 2 megawatts unit – with a total output of 5.3 megawatts of electricity and approximately 1,600 kW of saturated steam at 9 bar.
E.ON and the Granarolo Group have been collaborating since 2016 through an energy management partnership agreement, under which E.ON provides the Group with electricity and heat produced by the cogeneration plants in five production facilities, as well as heat recovery, system management and maintenance for a period of 12 years and light efficiency services.
“From an economic point of view, cogeneration has a significant impact, especially as regards the electricity carrier” – explains Daniele Rossin, Granarolo Group Energy Manager. In addition to guaranteeing a lower energy price, cogeneration also allows this price to be stabilised compared to the standard supplies of separate generation which are much more sensitive to the electricity and gas markets. In terms of sustainability, cogeneration allows us to significantly increase production efficiency compared to standard separate generation. In fact, with the new cogenerator, we expect to reach the target of 1,000 tonnes of CO2 equivalent saved each year.
“We have been working with the Granarolo Group for years, supporting the company in its journey towards energy efficiency and, today, we are taking on the new challenges of environmental sustainability together. As always, in addition to taking responsibility for the investment, E.ON is also responsible for the results, taking over the management and operation of the energy plants and allowing the customer to concentrate their economic and technical resources on the Company’s core business. For the Usmate plant, we chose AB as our technology partner, whose technology has enabled us to achieve all our objectives” – affirms Andrea Tomaselli, Head of Industrial Solutions, E.ON Business Solutions Italia.
“We are extremely proud to be working alongside an excellence of the Italian food industry such as Granarolo, through our innovative cogeneration technology and with a prestigious partnership such as the one with E.ON” – adds Angelo Baronchelli, President of AB. As with other initiatives carried out in the past, we have also applied our “ABetter way” philosophy to this project, which certifies that there is a different, yet unique and better way to support each customer in the journey towards sustainability of their company, both environmentally and economically”.