GEA’s Ammonia Heat Pumps to Replace Gas Boilers at Heineken UK Brewery

GEA’s Ammonia Heat Pumps to Replace Gas Boilers at Heineken UK Brewery

GEA Heineken UK
Two brewhouse vessels installed by GEA - Source: Heineken UK

German manufacturer GEA plans to install its ammonia (R717) heat pumps at Heineken UK’s Manchester brewery to produce steam, replacing boilers powered by natural gas.

The project, which will support a 90°C (194°F) hot water network, is expected to be completed by the end of 2024, resulting in a 45% decrease in gas use and a reduction of carbon emissions, said GEA in a statement. Distribution and recovery pipe work make up the foundation of the network, which will absorb the heat from multiple processes.

The Manchester brewery produces about 400 million liters (105.7 million US gallons) of Heineken, Birra Moretti and Foster’s beer per year.

Heineken’s global ambition is to reach net zero across its production sites (for scopes 1 and 2) by 2030. “We want to brew a better world, and we need to act now if we are going to meet our 2030 net zero ambitions,” said Chelsey Wroe, Head of Sustainability at Heineken UK.

“Heat pumps are a key technology on our journey to decarbonizing our breweries and enable us to create a circular process with the excess heat that is created during the brewing process,” added Wroe. “As GEA brings a wealth of expertise and knowledge to the project as well as some well-engineered technical solutions, we appointed GEA – after a thorough tender process – to support us in decarbonizing our Manchester site.”

“Our ability to deliver a design, which recognized the complex and diverse energy demands of a large scale 24/7 brewing operation made the difference,” said John Burden, Director of Project Sales at GEA’s Heating & Refrigeration Technologies Division.

Matthew Hadwen, Brewery Sales Manager at GEA’s Liquid & Powder Technologies Division, who leads the project, added: “Being able to do it all in-house makes us a more reliable partner to Heineken, who are truly serious about their sustainability goals. Hopefully this approach will encourage other companies to follow their example.”

GEA’s ammonia heat pumps are being used in another U.K. project where they are tapping heat from mine water.

“Heat pumps are a key technology on our journey to decarbonizing our breweries and enable us to create a circular process with the excess heat that is created during the brewing process.”

Chelsey Wroe, Head of Sustainability at Heineken UK

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