Scottish Industrial Energy Transformation Fund (SIETF): winners and case studies

Summary of Scottish Industrial Energy Transformation Fund (SIETF) competition winners for 2021 and 2022, along with case studies.

Competition winners 2021

Read more about the Scottish Industrial Energy Transformation Fund (SIETF).

Case studies

MacDonald and Muir Ltd (Glenmorangie): Synthetic Methane from Hydrogen and Fermentation CO2​​​​​

  • study competition
  • local authority area: Highland

Glenmorangie distillery in Tain, Ross-shire, produces single malt whisky. In a distillery, there are two main contributors to carbon emissions: from combustion of fossil fuels to generate steam/heat and, although in a closed carbon cycle, the CO2 generated and released during the fermentation process.

With project partners Mabbett and Associates and MAN Energy Solutions, the project aims to study the feasibility of installing a 1MWe (electric) plant that collects/ captures the CO2 that is generated (and although in a closed carbon cycle, is normally released to atmosphere) in the fermentation process and converts it to synthetic methane by combining it with hydrogen created through electrolysis using renewable electricity. The main output will be a feasibility and engineering study report containing an assessment of the benefits and challenges of the proposed concept, including capital and operating costs. This will enable a decision as to whether to progress to deployment.

The company estimate that the 1MWe plant should reduce the Tain distillery’s emissions by 825 tCO2e (equivalent) or 6% per year. When scaled up to collect all CO2 from fermentation, a reduction of 39% of the emissions from heat generation would be made. Future expansion will allow the CO2 from the combustion of the synthetic gas to also be added to the system, making a reduction of 95% of the emissions from heat generation possible. This would also lead to the production of excess ‘green gas’ that can be supplied to other users.

BrewDog PLC: Heat recovery from distillation to pre-heat the boiler feed and new compressor refrigeration system

  • deployment competition
  • local authority area: Aberdeenshire

BrewDog is a brewery and pub chain based in Ellon, producing various types of ales and lagers. The company aims to deliver on-site energy savings through a suite of thermal efficiency improvements.

SIETF funding will enable the company to deliver two on-site projects: recovering heat from condensate to be used to pre-heat the brewery’s boiler feed, with the inclusion of thermal storage and installing a high-efficiency cooling system that will use a natural refrigerant, reducing carbon emissions from both the refrigerant and the energy consumed in the system.

The project has the potential to achieve greenhouse gas emission savings in the region of 250 tCO2e per year and anticipated energy consumption savings in the range of 968 MWh to 1,276 MWh in 2022, rising to 1,166 MWh to 1,474 MWh from 2024 onwards due to an anticipated increase in the output of the brewery. The low-carbon model that the company is creating will provide a useful template for other businesses in the Scottish food and beverage sector.

Chivas Brothers Ltd: Deployment of MVR (mechanical vapour re-compression) and TVR (thermal vapour re-compression)

  • deployment competition
  • local authority area: Aberdeenshire

Chivas Brothers, a producer of branded Scotch whisky, will replace heat from an oil fuelled boiler using a combination of thermally and electrically driven heat pumps. The technology aims to recover 100% of the condenser heat and recycle it directly into the distilling process.

The project will be designed, procured and managed in house and involves installation of Mechanical Vapour Re-compression (MVR) on two wash stills and Thermal Vapour Re-compression (TVR) on two spirit stills, which will recover and upgrade heat currently being rejected from the condenser. The technology has already been successfully implemented on a still at one if its malt whisky distilleries.

By reducing the quantity of oil burned, greenhouse gas emissions from the site are expected to provide a saving of 3522 tCO2e per year. Energy consumption is projected to reduce by 54%. The project has the potential to provide lessons for other distilleries across Scotland and impact positively on the local and national food and drink industry.

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK): Compressor Energy Efficiency Project

  • deployment competition
  • local authority area: North Ayrshire

GSK is a British multinational pharmaceuticals company. The project will take place at GSK’s Irvine site, which produces antibiotic drugs, and involves the installation of two new, smaller air compressors with a wider operating range than the current compressor, along with a system to improve the operational control of the compressed air system.

The company, along with its contractor, Doosan Babcock, will manage the project, which utilises existing technology in the form of electrically driven air compressors. The compressors will be managed in a novel way to operate at the best possible efficiency for a given demand. The novel management technique will utilise the availability of various compressors of differing sizes to correctly and efficiently meet the changing demands, minimising energy wastage caused by the venting of excess compressed air. 

Delivery of this project will result in estimated emissions reductions of 603 tCO2e per year. The emissions savings associated with the project will increase as the UK grid continues to decarbonise, and as GSK prepares to introduce additional new on-site renewable energy, taking the site to 85% on-site energy generation.

Brightsolid Online Technology: Replace aging air conditioning equipment and implement cold aisle containment

  • deployment competition
  • location – Dundee

Brightsolid is a data centre which offers colocation and hybrid cloud solutions to both private and public sector clients. An SIETF grant will be used to replace ageing air conditioning equipment with more energy efficiency technology and implement cold aisle containment and LED lightning.

The implementation of cold aisle containment will optimise air flow and improve energy efficiency within the data centre, resulting in a reduction in energy use for cooling. Sensor activated, LED lighting will replace the existing manually controlled, fluorescent lighting system, bringing further energy savings.

It is estimated that the new Air Handling Units (AHUs)/cold aisle containment system will reduce the site’s energy consumption by 34%. Due to reduced electricity use on site, carbon emission savings are expected to be in the region of 134 tCO2 per year. SIETF grant funding for this project will directly support the continued availability of indigenous data centre capacity and Brightsolid’s commitment to operating an environmentally sustainable business.

Grahams the Family Dairy: upgrade steam production and heat distribution infrastructure

  • deployment competition 
  • local authority area: Stirling

Based in Airthrey Kerse Dairy in Stirling, Grahams is Scotland’s largest independent dairy, processing 165 million litres of milk a year along with a variety of other dairy products. The current steam production and distribution used in this production process has been identified as inefficient due to the arrangement (length) of steam lines. Therefore, the company aim to use this funding to install higher efficiency equipment relating to steam heat exchangers and steam distribution:

  • replacement of three existing steam ‘hot sets’ exchangers with a high efficiency plate heat exchanger
  • replacement of the existing combined steam and water mixing valves distribution system with a new ’Spirax EasiHeat’ hot water ring main distribution system throughout the dairy

The project will help to reduce the carbon emissions at the Dairy by 333 tCO2e/annum (gas emissions saving of 329 tCO2e/annum and a water consumption emissions saving of 4 tCO2e/annum). This equates to a 34% reduction in emissions from site gas consumption and a 19% reduction in emissions from site water consumption.

There is scope for similar technology to be replicated within both the dairy sector, as well as other industries that use steam for thermal energy transfer. The investment in this project is part of the Dairy’s wider ambition to transition to net zero by 2035.

O-I Glass: Convert traditional gas combustion furnace into oxy-fuel furnace

  • deployment competition
  • local authority area: Clackmannanshire

O-I Glass is a manufacturing facility in Alloa and supplies glass bottles to the UK drinks sector. The company aims to convert a furnace from the traditional gas/air method of combustion to gas/oxygen – reducing emissions. This will be the first Oxy Furnace in Scotland to service the drink and sprits sector and therefore a strategically important project.

The glass making process requires high temperatures to melt different materials together and this is presently carried out using natural gas fuel mixed with air. The project involved construction of a new furnace to replace the traditional gas-air combustion with an oxy-gas one. By doing this, a much better combustion efficiency will be achieved in the furnace along with a reduction of energy usage and emissions. Using pure oxygen requires lower volumes of Gas, in fact Gas-Air ratio is around 14:1 instead of 4:1 for gas-oxy. The project, therefore, would achieve a substantial saving in greenhouse gas emissions of almost 7,403 tonnes of CO2e per year

This is an innovative project which other large combustion facilities should be able to replicate given the feasibility of the technology used and the improvements in air separation technology. The emissions of greenhouse gasses will reduce over the coming years as the UK electricity grid decarbonises.




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