Cavendish Farms unveils new Bio-Gas Facility



    NEW ANNAN, PEI, June 19 /CNW/ - Cavendish Farms, one of North America's
leading producers of frozen potato products, today unveiled a critical vital
new element in their environmental action plan, and a first for the potato
industry in North America.
    "Today we are proud to unveil our Bio-Gas Facility as an example of our
corporate approach to researching, investing and implementing innovative new
ways that we can create sustainable and environmentally friendly processing
methodologies," Robert Irving, President of Cavendish Farms said at the
official opening of the new plant. "This is the first facility in the potato
industry to take solid potato waste and convert it into usable energy."
    What sets the plant apart is that while most facilities treat waste water
produced from processing, the Cavendish Bio-Gas Facility also takes the solid
waste material from potato processing and, through anaerobic digestion (a
natural process similar to composting), converts it into energy for the
Cavendish processing plants.
    "The investment in this new technology benefits our environment while
being financially beneficial to our business model," Irving said. "It is a
true win-win for Prince Edward Island."
    Premier Robert Ghiz congratulated Cavendish Farms on their initiative. "I
am extremely pleased that Cavendish Farms is setting this important example
for processors all across North America, and there is no better place to
showcase this initiative than on Prince Edward Island," said Premier Ghiz.
"Our government is working hard to encourage innovation of this nature, which
will benefit not only our agricultural sector, but all Islanders in terms of
the reduced environmental impact. We are pleased to have assisted Cavendish
Farms in making this significant investment which will benefit Prince Edward
Island for years to come."
    "By taking a waste product and turning it into both energy and usable
compost, Cavendish Farms is demonstrating a commitment to innovation, to
energy efficiency and waste reduction," said Richard Brown, Minister of
Environment, Energy and Forestry. "We're encouraged to see Cavendish Farms
exploring the possibilities of biofuels as an energy source. This kind of
investment helps both the company and the environment of Prince Edward
Island."
    Allan Campbell, Minister of Innovation and Advanced Learning, also spoke
highly of the announcement. "Cavendish Farms is showing a strong commitment to
its employees and the entire Prince Edward Island business community by
investing in this new technology," said Minister Campbell. "The new biogas
facility will allow the company to reduce its carbon footprint and control
energy costs. This initiative reaffirms Cavendish Farms' reputation as one of
Prince Edward Island's top corporate citizens."
    This marks the single biggest reduction in greenhouse gases on the
Island. Among the many environmental benefits the new plant will help achieve
are: 30-35% reduction in the overall carbon footprint of the potato processing
plants; a reduced dependence on fossil fuel used to power the boilers in the
processing plants (about 10 million liters per year); fewer trucks required to
bring fuel to the plant; the elimination of the need for trucks to remove
potato waste from the plant, (reducing the trucking requirements of the
processing plants operation by 1450 KM per day) ; and the creation of an
organic, natural fertilizer that can be used on fields in place of potato
waste.
    "This technology helps Cavendish Farms continue with our focus of a
sustainable processing mindset, Irving said. "It creates less dependence on
fossil fuels through an efficient, controlled cycle by capturing potato
processing by-product and converting it into energy, all on one site."
    The reduction of green house gas emissions alone is expected to be 35
kilo tones (KT), which represents a reduction of 30-35% for the Cavendish
Farms operation. This is equivalent to taking 7,300 cars off the road for one
year. "By any measure the reduction in emissions is significant and one that
all Cavendish employees can be proud of", Irving said.
    The original idea for this facility was explored in 2004, with
development beginning in earnest in 2006. The project was led by the Irving
Engineering Team with support by Stantec Engineering from Fredericton and the
German firm of Krieg & Fischer Engineering GmbH, an engineering company
specializing in Bio-Gas plant design around the world. During construction,
the plant generated approximately 81,500 person hours of work and utilized the
goods and services of 23 Island companies.

    
    /NOTE TO PHOTO EDITORS: A photo accompanying this release is available on
    the CNW Photo Network and archived at http://photos.newswire.ca.
    Additional archived images are also available on the CNW Photo Archive
    website at http://photos.newswire.ca. Images are free to accredited
    members of the media/
    




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