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Ammonia heat pump to cut Nestlé’s steam usage

NETHERLANDS: GEA is to supply the latest process and ammonia heat pump technology to cut energy consumption at a new milk powder line at Nestlé’s plant in Nunspeet, the Netherlands.

Nestlé is currently doubling production capacity at the Nunspeet plant with an additional processing line to support increased demand for its Althera and Alfare infant formula brands. 

For the first time, Nestlé will be using a GEA heat recovery system that is fed by exhaust air from the spray drying plant and, in turn, provides 80°C hot water for its operation. As part of the project, GEA will also equip the complete wet processing technology which supplies the Nestlé spray drying line with the prepared milk.

When completed, the plant will use 75% less energy for steam and massively reduce carbon emissions, it is claimed. 

In addition to the ammonia heat pump for the spray dryer, GEA is providing a second heat pump that supplies hot water at 85°C to heat the entire production line and run the various dehydration processes, as well as cold water at 1.5°C to air condition the factory. 

GEA’s process technology for the wet line includes state-of-the-art evaporators, inline formula mixers, a homogeniser, high-pressure and high-shear pumps, heat exchangers, valves, as well as all other connecting components and pipework. The heat pump system will provide this process technology with hot and cold water for maximum energy efficiency in operation.

At the heart of the system is the GEA Grasso V XHP high-pressure ammonia reciprocating compressor

Installation of the process technology and heat supply system is planned for next year. The plant will go into operation in 2025. 

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