Mackie’s replacing freezing equipment to lower emissions

By Jim Cornall contact

- Last updated on GMT

GEA will supply a new, environmentally friendly refrigeration system, which will be Scotland’s first large-scale plant combining biomass heat and absorption chilling. Pic: GEA
GEA will supply a new, environmentally friendly refrigeration system, which will be Scotland’s first large-scale plant combining biomass heat and absorption chilling. Pic: GEA

Related tags: Gea, Ice cream, Sustainability, CO2 emissions

GEA has clinched a contract to supply a new, environmentally friendly refrigeration system, which will be Scotland’s first large-scale plant combining biomass heat and absorption chilling.

As part of a £4.5m ($5.9m) project, Scottish food manufacturer Mackie’s of Scotland will replace existing freezing equipment at its Aberdeenshire facility with GEA’s ammonia-based, low carbon, energy efficient refrigeration system that incorporates an absorption chiller, which will help Mackie’s target CO2​ reductions of 90% and energy cost savings of 70-80%.

Mackie’s, which produces ice cream, snacks and confectionery, has embarked upon a green initiative involving replacing the gases used in its refrigeration plants from HCFC – which have a very high global warming potential – to ammonia, an environmentally-friendly refrigerant that has no impact on global warming or ozone depletion.

GEA, which supplies high-tech processing, packaging and refrigeration for the food industry, has teamed up with German company AGO to supply the absorption chiller for Mackie’s plant. AGO has only carried out two projects in the UK so far using this technology and both times GEA was the refrigeration contractor. It was via this relationship that AGO recommended GEA to Mackie’s.

Gerry Stephens, finance director at Mackie’s of Scotland, said, “Our company vision includes our aim to be the greenest company in the United Kingdom. Over the years we have invested in renewable energy on site, including four wind turbines and - what was at the time of its connection in 2016 – Scotland's largest solar farm.

“As we grow our energy requirements grow with us, we’re excited about this innovative combination of technology and eco-friendly refrigeration – representing the final step in our ambition to be self-sufficient in renewable energy.”

Design of the system has been completed and GEA has assisted Mackie’s in preparation for the installation works as the manufacturer has not undertaken a project of this magnitude before.

Scott White, GEA’s sales manager, said, “Designing an ammonia system for a site that has no previous experience of this refrigerant has involved taking time to guide Mackie’s in the correct regulations and procedures that have to be adhered to. GEA has a wealth of experience in designing and installing systems utilising this technology.”

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