Economics Minister Henk Kamp starts up renewable energy supply at FrieslandCampina DOMO in Borculo

Next step towards climate-neutral growth

11 May 2015

FrieslandCampina will fuel its new production site in Borculo using certified renewable pyrolysis oil with very low immediate carbon emissions. The oil is extracted from biomass (wood chips) by Hengelo-based firm Empyro, which uses pyrolysis, a thermochemical decomposition of organic material at elevated temperatures in the absence of oxygen, in the extraction process. This technology was developed at the University of Twente in the Netherlands and refined by BTG-BTL, Empyro’s parent company. Henk Kamp, the Dutch Minister of Economic Affairs, opened the valve to mark the official start to the new renewable energy supply

FrieslandCampina started building a new production site for milk powder and high-grade ingredients for children’s foods in Borculo in 2013. The production site has a processing capacity of 750 million kilos of milk. FrieslandCampina wants to grow on a climate-neutral basis. By choosing renewable pyrolysis oil, the entire production site’s direct carbon emissions will fall by 15 percent, resulting in a considerable reduction in the use of fossil fuels (10 million m³ of natural gas and 16,000 tons of carbon emissions annually, which is comparable to the carbon emissions caused by nearly 2,000 Dutch households). What is more, the energy consumption of the new site will drop by 20 percent compared to that of other FrieslandCampina sites thanks to energy-saving techniques.

Roelof Joosten, CEO of FrieslandCampina: “It is FrieslandCampina’s ambition to provide the growing world population with dairy, which is a key ingredient in a person’s basic diet. At the same time, we want our production methods to be sustainable and efficient. By using a renewable energy source such as pyrolysis oil, we are taking the next step towards climate-neutral growth.”

All-green electricity

All 35 FrieslandCampina production sites in the Netherlands have used all-green electricity since early 2015. Half of this electricity comes from dairy farms operated by FrieslandCampina member farmers, who generate energy from sun, wind and biomass. FrieslandCampina opened the first wind farm in 2013 (Van Gogh in the province of Noord-Brabant).

As soon as the local authorities in Borculo grant their consent, the Borculo production site will also switch to renewable biogas as its energy source. The biogas is extracted from cow manure, sewage sludge and organic household waste from the chain, which is supplied by way of an eight-kilometre-long pipeline from the nearby ‘Groot-Zevert’ fermentation plant. This results in another considerable reduction in the use of fossil fuels by 5 million m³ of natural gas and 8,000 tons of carbon annually, which is comparable to the carbon emissions caused by 1,000 Dutch households.