Highlights

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Biscuits Business ovens in Medellin.

 

Challenges

The Organization may be exposed to financial and reputational risks given by fluctuating energy prices worldwide, the possible conditions of temporary or permanent scarcity of some fossil fuels, climatic phenomena that temporarily threaten the safety of hydroelectric–energy supply, and the growing trend toward cleaner energy.

Grupo Nutresa is directed toward the search for greater efficiency and energy independence, as well as the use of cleaner technologies that also lead to the reduction of GHG gases and a more efficient use of water, energy and raw materials in its processes and products.

 


 

Progress

 

Energy consumption

The reduction in energy consumption (thermal and electric) per ton produced for Colombia was 4,4% compared to 2013, with a cumulative reduction of 18,2% for the period 2010–2014, which represents a significant advance toward the goal of a 25% reduction by 2020.

Within the consolidation of energy sources in the industrial operations, 85,8% of the energy corresponds to the use of natural gas and electricity, with a 3,7% improvement over 2013. The use of other fuels (coal, crude oil, LPG, diesel, gasoline) was reduced by 1,5%; the sum of these fossil fuels continues to represent 0,9% of all energy sources.

The use of biomass and alternative energies (solar thermal and photovoltaic–PV– energy) in the Coffee Business represents 14% of the Grupo Nutresa total energy sources. The use of biomass was reduced 13,9% compared to 2013.

In summary, 99,1% of the energy consumed by Grupo Nutresa in Colombia comes from sources considered cleaner (natural gas is considered a “cleaner” fuel). The total energy used was reduced by 2,07%, from 564,94 to 540,56 MWh.

Electric energy

The electric–energy consumption indicator (kWh/t.p.) had a reduction of 0,74% compared to 2013; for the period 2010–2014, the reduction was 7,7%.

The most noteworthy projects that positively impacted the consumption of electric energy in 2014 were:

In the Chocolate Business, in the Rionegro plant, the air–conditioning system has been progressively modified by installing industrial centrifuges, which permit implementing chilled–water systems for cooling. The use of the centrifuge has eliminated the use of commercial air–conditioning equipment, reduced the use of refrigerants and improved energy efficiency for cold air. The implementation of the centrifuge for the peanut area allows an estimated savings of 230.000 kWh/month. Since its implementation in July 2014, a savings of 1.150.000 kWh/year has been obtained.

In the Pasta Business, in the Mosquera plant, a controlled, intelligent system was installed for air compressors, which permits measuring the demand for compressed air and consuming only the energy necessary to satisfy the demand of the production plant. This project has reduced the electric energy used by the compressors in 2014 by 18% compared to previous years, which represents a savings of 159.688 kWh/year, equivalent to a savings of COP 34 Million.

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Biscuits Business packing line operator in Medellin.

 

In the Ice Cream Business, in the Manizales plant, a lighting system in the production area had four sectors that had to be lighted 24 hours a day, six days a week. Using the same lamps installed, the system was redesigned and divided into 11 sectors that may be turned on according to the lines that are working and the common areas for pedestrians.

In the Biscuits Business, in the Medellín plant, the substitution of lighting for LED lighting allowed a savings of 226.385 kWh/year.

Additionally, the plants have implemented best operating practices and small projects to improve energy efficiency, such as: programming the productive processes (coordination between the Services and Production areas) to avoid lower consumptions in the startups of large motors; installation of savings devices in the different systems of compressed–air generation; implementation of speed–control devices in motors; improvements in lighting systems using a combination of LED lamps, inductive lighting, translucent tiles and intelligent (zoning) control of lighting.

 

Thermal energy

As for thermal energy from non–renewable sources, we have carried out reconversion and technological–updating processes, process standardization, calibration of burners and substitution of fuels, which, in short, are a set of best practices adopted and shared by all the plants, which has permitted a reduction of 6,17% in the thermal–energy consumption indicator (kWh/t.p.), compared to 2013. For the period 2010–2014, the cumulative reduction is 22,7%.

The most noteworthy projects that positively impacted the consumption of electric energy in 2014 were:

In the Pasta Business, in the Mosquera plant, the burners that had a mechanical–regulation system were replaced by an automatic–electronic system that controls the air / fuel ratio by monitoring the actuators that control air and fuel flows to the burner to maintain the optimal combustion ratio. This has generated improvements in emissions to the atmosphere and improvements in the energy efficiency of the system, by reducing natural gas consumption by 5% compared to 2013, achieving a savings of 54.598 m3/year of natural gas.

In the Chocolate Business, in the Bogotá plant, a schedule was established according to the real needs of cocoa–liquor consumption in the Production Plant. In moments of low occupancy of the production lines, Zone A works a single shift. The personnel from the other shift are used for personal training, achieving a reduction in the natural gas consumption equivalent to 1.022.019 kWh/year.

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Biscuits Business production line operator in Medellin, Antioquia.

 

Energy from renewable sources

In exploring alternative–energy options, we continue using biomass as an energy source. Such is the case in using coffee grounds in the Coffee Business in Colombia and the use of coffee grounds, tea and barley in the TMLUC Business in Chile. Additionally, two photovoltaic (PV) solar–energy pilot projects were carried out, one using the bridge that communicates the Coffee production plant in Medellín with the warehouses; the other, to generate the energy necessary to light an area of the Biscuits plant in Medellín, as well as the implementation of solar panels in two POPS ice cream parlors in Costa Rica.

 

Energy efficiency in the value chain G4-EN3_G4-EN5

During 2014, Comercial Nutresa acquired two 100% electric vehicles that operate in the distribution of snacks in the cities of Bogotá and Medellín. Also begun was a pilot project with a hybrid vehicle (electric/internal combustion) and we incorporated six automatic–transmission vehicles, which help to reduce consumption during driving, into the primary–transport fleet.

Moreover, the Ice Cream Business in Colombia launched a pilot program for freezers that work with solar energy, as part of the strategy to use alternative energies that reduce energy consumption and the impact on the ozone layer.

A pilot test was carried out with freezers that operate with solar panels and photovoltaic (PV) batteries; currently, four units are installed in the coastal regions and the center of the country (in a commercial test). The aim is to achieve energy savings of between 25% and 50% and generate monetary savings in the electric bill of clients.

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External energy consumption G4-EN4

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Reduction of energy consumption G4-EN6


 

Future vision

The Organization’s response to energy challenges is supported in the establishment of challenging goals for 2020, such as a 25% reduction of energy consumption per ton produced and the objective of achieving 100% of energy supply from cleaner energies.

In line with the goals established to reduce the GHG–emissions indicator, the businesses have established plans for 2020 to reduce energy consumption through technological reconversion, equipment updating and energy audits that permit reducing dependency on thermal energy from non–renewable sources (gas and fossil fuels), increase the share of alternative energies (biomass and Photovoltaic–PV–solar energy) and, consequently, reduce GHG emissions.

Likewise, we will continue permeating the value chain with principles of energy efficiency in the logistics processes, incorporating low–energy–consumption technologies in new distribution centers and – under development – continue with the exploration of more efficient transport projects via incorporation, into the transport fleet, of more efficient vehicles or that are fed cleaner energy and training in proper driving, supported in recognitions awarded to the best drivers. In particular, we have defined that in the future any new vehicle acquired to be integrated into the primary–transport fleet must have automatic transmission, allowing significant savings in fuel.

For 2015, we will conduct a diagnosis of energy efficiency in the productive plants in Colombia, to identify the processes with the greatest opportunities to reduce consumption. In turn, we will advance in raising basic environmental indicators, in establishing plans for savings and the efficient use of energy in the POPS, BON and Alimentos Cárnicos Panamá companies, as well as the approval of these indicators in the TMLUC operations and other companies located in our strategic region.

In 2014, Comercial Nutresa undertook the distribution using electrically-powered vehicles.

 


 

Some initiatives

 

Use of hydrogen in cargo transport

In one of the cargo–transport vehicles of the Chocolate Business, we installed equipment that generated hydrogen from an electro–chemical process. The hydrogen obtained enriches the fuel mixture, making it more efficient in terms of consumption and reduction of gas emissions. This implementation led to a validation process on the use of the hydrogen equipment, to prove its efficiency in transporting heavy loads. A reduction in fuel consumption of 7,7% annually (COP 8,3 Million) and an 87,5% decrease in emissions, with a reduction of 11,8 t/year in CO2 emissions, was obtained. This practice can be replicated to other Grupo Nutresa businesses.