Cogeneration: heat and electricity from natural gas
On three of our logistics and production sites we are using a cogeneration plant. This impressive installation generates electricity and heat simultaneously on a large scale from natural gas. We installed the first one on the Dassenveld site in 2015. At the end of 2019 two more were added: one in Stroppen and one in Ghislengien.
Smart and sustainable
Cogeneration is one of the most sustainable and efficient ways to produce two forms of energy simultaneously. The generated energy is used locally, which means less electricity of the grid is needed.
The cogeneration installations generate large amounts of power and heat each year: about 15,000 MWh of electricity (equivalent to about 4,500 families’ consumption) and about 16,000 MWh of thermal energy (equivalent to 8000 families’ consumption).
Cogeneration produces electricity and heat simultaneously on a large scale
A distribution centre or production site is the ideal location for this kind of installation. For example, the crate washer at Dassenveld needs a lot of heat. The same goes for our bottle-washing machine for the wine department in Ghislengien. On Stroppen there is a great demand for thermal energy for the activities of Colruyt Group Fine Food Meat, our meat processing company. In addition, we need to heat the distribution centre’s large buildings. This means that we need extra heat in winter. And the more heat we need, the more the cogeneration plant comes into its own.
How does cogeneration work?
The installation is very ingenious. The gas is burned in the installation’s engine. This drives the generator which, in turn, generates electricity. The heat from this is not lost, but is used to heat water and our buildings. That way, less energy is used than if electricity and heat would be generated separately. As a result, we achieve higher energy efficiency and lower CO₂ emissions at these sites.
With this initiative, we contribute to the following Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations.