Between 2010 and 2020, this producer of sugar, alcohol and bioethanol has reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by 15.7% per tonne of sugar beet, its energy consumption by 8.2% per tonne of sugar beet and its water consumption by 57%. Also ISO 50001 certified at all of its sites since 2015, the Group is not stopping there. Cristal Union has set itself a new ambitious target: to reduce emissions by 35%
by 2030 and thereby save 265,000 tonnes of CO2. This commitment has been recognized and rewarded by the France Relance recovery plan.
All Cristal Union sites have been ISO 50001 certified for more than 6 years, making them pioneers in decarbonization and energy efficiency. This approach has meant that energy use could be assessed early on in the process on a site-by-site basis and a plan to calculate energy consumption put in place, along with targeted investment aimed at tying industrial performance to environmental performance.
To date, Cristal Union already has 3 biomass boilers and 2 self-contained biogas production units across its various sites and subsidiaries. In the future, the Group aims to go further in terms of the recovery of its byproducts and the production of renewable energy, such as solar energy.
To achieve its target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 35% by 2030 and thereby saving 265,000 tonnes of CO2, Cristal Union is investing massively in transforming its industrial production facilities. Three large projects, aimed at reducing the share of fossil fuels and increasing the share of renewables used at its sites, have even been recognized and rewarded under the ‘France Relance’ recovery plan.
At its dehydration plant at Bazancourt, Cristal Union has invested €4 million in feeding its furnaces with biomass and, by April 2022, creating a storage platform which can supply a sufficient quantity of wood fuel. This initiative, which will enable a reduction in CO2 emissions of 65,000 t/year, has been rewarded and supported to the tune of €1.5 million by the French State under the ‘France Relance’ recovery plan.
At its sugar production facility at Sainte Emilie, a large investment of €25 million, including €6.9 million in State subsidies, has been spent on a new indirect beet pulp dehydration unit which will be operational in September 2023. This will enable heat to be recovered and will in turn end the use of coal. A reduction in CO2 emissions of 90% (or 40,000 t/year) from desiccation operations is expected. Ending the use of coal will also lead to a reduction in the quantity of particulates or even of sulfur being produced.
Cristal Union has invested €5 million (including 1.5 million in State subsidies) in its subsidiary Sidesup to create a third dehydration line with a hot gas generator powered by biomass. Work on this project, which will help support the large-scale development of organic alfalfa production to the south of Paris by Cristal Union, the leader in this industry, will be completed in April 2022.
Besides the initiatives rewarded by France Relance, the Group is participating and investing regularly in a number of decarbonization projects and on the recovery of its own resources on all its sites. At Arcis, Bazancourt and Fontaine le Dun, for example, projects using methanization to convert industrial effluent into biogas are currently under way.
“At Cristal Union, we have been committed to the energy transition for several decades now. We are now gearing up to be the leader within our industry in terms of decarbonization. All projects have been designed and implemented with short, medium and long term targets in mind. With a great target date of 2030 for reducing our greenhouse gas emissions by 35%. We are also now really proud that three of our projects, at our sites at Bazancourt and Sainte-Emilie and at our subsidiary Sidesup, were rewarded by the France Relance industrial decarbonization plan“, says Pascal Hamon, Industrial Director at Cristal Union