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PepsiCo Portugal invests €7.5m in biodigester

January 29, 2023
Consumer Packaged Goods

PepsiCo Portugal has announced that it will invest €7.5 million to construct a new biodigester, which will turn organic waste into biogas.

The company says the project reflects its “commitment to sustainability and the reduction of carbon emissions at its snack factory in Carregado”.

As well as helping its Carregado facility – located in the municipality of Alenquer – to achieve a 30% reduction in carbon emissions, the biodigester will also contribute to reducing gas consumption, allowing the installation to use the biogas produced during the anaerobic digestion process.

The process of using biogas directly as fuel in the various stages of production and for cleaning the production lines will be wielded as a source of renewable energy. In order for the biogas to be a direct substitute for natural gas, it must be first pre-treated in a purification station that converts biogas into biomethane.

PepsiCo Portugal’s biodigester will use the sludge produced at the plant’s wastewater treatment plant and potato peelings, as well as other food waste deemed unfit for consumption. This waste is pre-treated and converted into clean organic compost and transformed into biogas. The project is part of the PepsiCo Positive (pep+) strategy for sustainability.

Fernando Moraga, country manager of PepsiCo in Portugal, said: “We are proud to start the year with the announcement of this pioneering project in southern Europe, which is a big step in the transformation process towards a Positive Value Chain. With the new biodigester, we will operate more efficiently with the planet by creating alternative energy solutions.”

Nelson Sousa, plant manager of PepsiCo in Portugal, commented: “The new biodigester will have the capacity to convert more than 21,900 tons of organic waste per year into 4,818,000 Nm3 of biomethane per year, which is equivalent to a 30% reduction in carbon emissions during the production process”.

Sousa added: “In addition, it will allow our business unit to continue to be a case study in terms of the level of good sustainability practices at PepsiCo at a European level, and also an example of local circularity and reconversion as the project foresees the use of residues from outside our factory”.

PepsiCo says it will begin construction of the biodigester on a separate site next to the Alenquer factory in April 2023, occupying a total area of 420 square metres.

By Gwen Jones


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