Del Monte Philippines creates renewable energy from pineapple waste
Del Monte Philippines Inc. (DMPI) has partnered with Global Water Engineering (GWE) to turn pineapple waste water into renewable energy at its Cagayan de Oro canning plant.
GWE installed a wastewater treatment plant that has achieved 93% organic pollution (COD) removal in its anaerobic reactors, producing enough energy in the form of methane rich biogas to power two 1.4 MW generating electrical power generator units, or gensets.
To date, the Hong Kong-based company has installed more than 150 waste-to-green energy plants worldwide.
GWE CEO Jean-Pierre Ombregt said waste heat from the gensets is also put to use to heat up boiler feed water - a further reduction of fossil fuel use in the factory.
He believed the Del Monte Pacific Ltd (DMPL) subsidiary would be able to make a return on the investment within two to five years, especially given that electricity prices are high and supply is sometimes erratic.
"The DMPI plant has substantially exceeded even the high environmental goals set by the company for the treating more than 13,000 cubic metres a day of wastewater, or nearly five million cubic metres a year," he said.
"Process results are substantially better than the guaranteed levels of the project, with anaerobic effluent achieving ca. 40 mg/l COD (93 percent removal) and final effluent achieving 70 mg/l COD, or a further 83 percent removal.
"This is remarkable in an operation so large and a compliment to the foresight of DMPI. In terms of the positive environmental impact and the virtually free electricity gains going straight to the bottom line, this is an exemplary project for food, beverage and agribusiness processors worldwide."
DMPI accounts for about 10% of the world’s annual production of processed pineapple products, according to a release from GWE.