Functional ingredients manufacturer Beneo has announced a 40% reduction in specific carbon emissions at its Oreye chicory foot fibre production facility in Belgium.

According to Beneo, the carbon reduction is a result of a ten-year energy-saving programme and a recent €11 million investment to improve energy efficiency at the site.

As part of this investment, a new gas turbine and heat recovery boiler were installed, and a new steel structure was constructed at the heart of the facility to house the new equipment, while parts of the production site had to be dismantled.

According to Beneo, the new equipment is able to completely fulfill the energy demands of the production site, and also enables the company to export an additional five megawatts of energy to the public electric grid network each year.

A statement from Beneo claims that the move highlights the company’s commitment to achieving carbon neutrality across its operations by 2050.

Philippe Dumont, operations managing director at Beneo’s Oreye facility, said: “Sustainable development is a cornerstone of our business strategy and Beneo is committed to achieving carbon neutrality by 2050. The production plant in Oreye continues to contribute to this target with a combination of solutions, including the increased use of renewable energy in future.

“The integration of the new gas turbine system into our existing steam and electricity production is an important part of the energy efficiency program that we began 10 years ago. Our aim was to cut specific carbon emissions on site and to date we have achieved a total reduction of 40%, thanks to significant fuel efficiencies and yield gains.”

This project reportedly forms part of an overall €61 million investment in Belgium in the past 12 months.

This investment programme saw the company invest approximately €50 million to expand the production capacity at its rice starch production site in Wijgmaal, Belgium earlier this year.