Heineken Spain and Engie Spain have built the largest solar thermal plant for industrial use in Europe, a completely pioneering innovation in Spain that the President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, wanted to see firsthand by attending the inauguration ceremony held this Saturday in Seville. and in which Etienne Strijp, president of Heineken Spain, also participated; Carmen Ponce, director of Corporate Relations and Sustainability of the brewery; and Loreto Ordóñez, CEO of Engie Spain.
Pedro Sánchez, among the authorities invited to the inauguration of the Heineken solar thermal plant in Seville. / Rocío Ruz/ Europa Press
Heineken Spain and Engie Spain have built the largest solar thermal plant for industrial use in Europe, a completely pioneering innovation in our country that the President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, wanted to see firsthand by attending the inauguration ceremony held this Saturday in Seville. and in which Etienne Strijp, president of Heineken Spain, also participated; Carmen Ponce, director of Corporate Relations and Sustainability of the brewery; and Loreto Ordóñez, CEO of Engie Spain.
With a power of 30 MW, a storage capacity of 68 MWh and eight hectares of surface, this facility built on the grounds of the Heineken Spain factory in Seville for its own supply is estimated to reduce its gas consumption by more than 60%. fossil to allow the brewery to reduce its carbon footprint by almost 7,000 tons of CO2e per year (a weight equivalent to that of the Eiffel Tower). In addition, it uses the sun as raw material, a source of renewable, unlimited and emission-free energy, to heat and cool water in a closed circuit.
By the end of 2024, it is expected to operate this factory with 84% renewable energy (electrical and thermal). The new solar thermal plant, which is already operational, combines for the first time thermodynamic concepts and CSP (Concentrated Solar Power) solar thermal technology in a factory. Thus, a completely pioneering technological innovation is created, which increases the reliability and availability of energy by doubling the production capacity of superheated water for industrial consumption. Furthermore, by using water as a heat transfer fluid, it avoids the use of synthetic oils that can potentially harm the environment.
«At Heineken we were pioneers in introducing sustainability in the beer sector more than two decades ago. And today we are again, with the help of Engie, with a totally innovative project that positions Spain in a prominent place in the transition to renewable energies. Thanks to this new solar thermal plant, in this factory we make and package beers with renewable energy. «Beers that contribute to adding value, supporting the economic fabric and the environment of this region so dear to us,» said Etienne Strijp, president of Heineken Spain.
For his part, Loreto Ordóñez, CEO of Engie Spain, explained that «with the execution and construction of this plant we underline once again Engie’s commitment to our industrial clients, by putting at their disposal our technical capabilities and our team of professionals to make possible the viability of sustainable and renewable energy alternatives. «We thank Heineken Spain for trusting us to be part of this project that is already allowing for cleaner and more efficient energy in its production processes.»
The construction of the plant has been carried out in a record time of 12 months, which is why the initial forecasts for the project, which almost doubled this period, have been exceeded. The assembly was carried out by 100% Andalusian companies, with a total of 150,000 hours of work, which would be equivalent to 18,750 days (more than 51 years of work for one person).
With an investment of 21 million euros developed in a framework of public-private collaboration, which involves Engie Spain, Heineken Spain and national, regional and local public administrations, the project is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). ) and managed by the Institute for Energy Diversification and Saving (IDAE). The alliance between Heineken Spain and Engie Spain is established through a TPA (Thermal Purchase Agreement) in which the brewery pays for the energy consumed and provides the land.
Engie undertakes to provide fully renewable energy at a previously agreed price and when the agreement is 20 years old, the solar thermal plant will become the property of Heineken. This project could be replicated to any other industry that meets the requirements and needs heat for its processes, without generating CO2. In addition, it fosters alliances to promote a collective commitment and position Spain as a pioneer country in the implementation of these key initiatives for the implementation of the global emissions reduction program.
Just a year and a half after presenting its sustainability ambitions for 2025, included in the Decidedly Heineken agenda, the brewer has already made important progress in its goal of decarbonizing its factories by 2025. By the end of this year its priority is that 50 % of the energy it uses is of renewable origin, thanks to the solar thermal plants in its factories in Seville and Valencia, the photovoltaic plant in El Andévalo (Huelva), the production of biogas in its four factories and the biomass boiler in its factory. from Jaen. In 2024 it hopes to reach 62% renewable energy, when the solar thermal plants are at full capacity.
These initiatives add to Heineken’s global ambition to achieve net-zero by 2040. In addition, the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) has recently approved global net zero targets in production and across the value chain, which makes Heineken the first brewer in the world to surpass this milestone.