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Gilfresh Produce

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Vegetable growers become energy self-sufficient through Edina biogas CHP

Edina UK Ltd supports family run business, Gilfresh Produce, to develop on-site energy through renewable energy through biogas CHP (combined heat and power) plant.

Gilfesh Produce, based in Loughgall Northern Ireland, together with their growers, grow field vegetables and salads on over 1,000 hectares of land and sells its produce to leading supermarkets throughout Ireland and the UK.

Waste vegetables from the washing and packing plant were historically sent to neighbouring farms and used for cattle feed, however, Gilfresh now use this waste together with grass and maize as feedstock for its new Anaerobic Digestion (AD) plant which is capable of processing over 7,500 tonnes each year.

Photo-09-02-2016-15-53-21-720x337The biogas produced from the feedstock is burned and turned into electricity. The electricity generated is enough to power their entire business, from offices to its production process, becoming self-reliant from the electricity grid.

Sole distributor for MWM manufactured gas engines in Ireland and the UK, Edina Group, supplied, installed and now maintains the biogas CHP MWM TCG 2016 V12 500kWe engine over a long-term service, operation and maintenance contract.

With offices in Lisburn, Dublin and Manchester, the MWM engine was containerised within a sound attenuation acoustic enclosure at Edina’s manufacturing facility based in Lisburn, Northern Ireland, less than 40 miles from the clients site and delivered ahead of schedule.

The biogas CHP plant was commissioned in November 2015 and it is expected that the power generated, through the biogas CHP, is approximately 80% of their energy usage, with the remainder sold to the electricity grid as a revenue stream.

Furthermore, plans are underway to recover the process heat generated for the exhaust to be used across their site, increasing the energy efficiencies even further.

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Gilfresh Produce appointed Edina Group due to its flexibility and extensive service and maintenance coverage of over 30 engineers across Ireland.

Thomas Gilpin, founder of Gilfresh Produce, said “The biogas plant will enable us to pursue our growth course on the one hand, and our ecological goals on the other hand”.

Edina’s Sales Manager, Colin McKibbin, concluded “Being a local company, we were delighted that Gilfresh Produce selected Edina as supplier of the CHP unit for their new Anaerobic Digestion (AD) plant.

The CHP is the most critical component of an AD project so it is important to select not only the right product, but also the best supplier with the required resource and after sales support.

The client quickly identified that we offered a market leading product, with also having the largest service team in Ireland based at our service depot and manufacturing plant in Lisburn less than 40 miles from the Gilfresh site.”

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Earlier in 2016, Gilfresh Produce won the Henderson’s Group ‘Tomorrow Matters’ Award which praised their outstanding contribution to Corporate Social Responsibility. Gilfresh were recognised for their staff support and development, reaching out in local communities and building the most energy efficient infrastructure on their land.

As a progressive family business, Gilfresh recognises the importance of sustainability and its impact on the local environment from an operational perspective.

For example, the company source fresh local produce and work with growers and seed companies throughout Ireland to extend the local produce supply season.

Carbon footprint is kept to a minimum with investment in new technology designed to reduce fuel consumption and increase self-sufficiency, and water recycling. Vegetable waste, soil and packaging practices are also implemented and sustainable farming practices are encouraged.

Gilfresh Produce remains committed to the environment and their ultimate goal of continually improving their environmental performance.

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Key benefits

  • Biogas powers their entire business
  • Surplus energy is exported back to the electricity grid used for income generation
  • CHP plant meets their environmental and strategical goals

Supporting data

Client:
Gilfresh Produce

Location:
Loughgall, Northern Ireland

Capacity:
500kWe

Operational:
2015

Manufacturer:
MWM

Packager:
Edina Group

Engine Type:
1 x 500kWe TCG 2016 V12

Primary Fuel:
Biogas

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