Heat Recovery System Helps to Reduce Carbon Footprint in Soft Drink Production

GEA supplies Britvic, one of UK’s leading soft drinks manufacturers, with a heat recovery system at its Beckton site, in London. The installation begins this summer and will result in cutting the factory’s carbon emissions by an estimated 1,200 tons annually – equivalent to the annual energy usage of around 500 UK homes.

  • GEA RedGenium heat pumps are used for industrial applications where process heat is required for local supply or district heating networks.
    GEA RedGenium heat pumps are used for industrial applications where process heat is required for local supply or district heating networks.

At its Beckton site, Britvic produces 2,000 drinks every minute, including many of the UK's most popular beverages such as Robinsons, Tango and Pepsi MAX. GEA is supplying two industrial ammonia heat pumps and a large thermal storage tank.

For Britvic, the project is a major step toward its goal of reducing direct carbon emissions by 50 percent by 2025 and achieving net zero by 2050. “The challenge with this brownfield project was how the improvements support us on our journey to reduce our Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions as part of our science-based targets and our Healthier People, Healthier Planet sustainability strategy”, says Sarah Webster, Director of Sustainable Business at Britvic. “We’re excited to be working with GEA to make our much-loved London factory sustainable for the future.”

Here's how the new heat recovery system works at Britvic 

Britvic will convert much of its process heating from natural gas steam boilers to a carbon-free heat recovery systems driven by heat pumps. The new heat recovery system, designed and supplied by GEA, reuses low temperature waste heat from the existing production system. This waste heat was previously released into the atmosphere and will now be used to heat hot water to 92°C, which will be distributed throughout the plant. Britvic says this will decarbonize 50 percent of the site's heat demand by using less gas in the traditional steam boilers, shifting the heat source away from fossil fuels. A valved connection is provided for up to 750 kW of heat which will be recovered in the future from other sources.

Upgrading legacy industrial steam heating systems and integrating these with heat pump technology is a challenge. At GEA, we can supply heat pumps and integrated process heat exchanger skids as one solution. This clearly sets us apart from our competition”, says Matthew Hadwen, Beverage Sales Manager at GEA’s Liquid & Powder Technologies Division.

Simon Gurr, Sales Manager at GEA’s Heating & Refrigeration Division adds: “This project provides us with a fantastic opportunity to extend our leading role in industry decarbonization. GEA’s expertise in both heat pump technology and process integration bring the right solution to Britvic.”