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GEA responsible for innocent carbon-neutral factory

GERMANY: GEA has provided Innocent, the well-known smoothie and juice brand, with the process technology for the world’s first carbon-neutral juice factory. 

Located at the Rotterdam Food Hub, the new production facility is scheduled to open officially in spring 2022. It is designed to produce up to 300 million litres of chilled juice drinks and smoothies each year

In the new-build project, GEA is responsible for the process, refrigeration and heating technology. Early involvement in the design planning phase enabled the company to develop numerous innovative process changes that significantly help innocent on the path to reaching its climate goals.

Aiming to create a carbon neutral factory, extracted heat is reused and upcycled with two sets of heat pumps to useful temperatures of 2300kW at 65°C and 2500kW at 90°C. Total heat demand at these temperatures is generated from waste heat from the refrigeration plant. The now reduced balance of energy required is provided by installing solar panels and two wind turbines.

“Not only have we integrated the most resource-efficient technologies, we have also entirely rethought the processes as well as the heating and refrigeration systems,” said GEA CEO Stefan Klebert. Together with Innocent, we have pushed the envelope beyond standard beverage production practice.”

The project recently won the People’s Choice category at the European Heat Pump Association awards.

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