Del Monte, Frito-Lay and Searles Valley Minerals awarded for environmental excellence

By CMTA Staff

Capitol Update, Nov. 14, 2008 Share this on FacebookTweet thisEmail this to a friend

At the CMTA/Industrial Environmental Association/Chemical Industry Coalition of California’s Annual Environmental Summit, "Navigating in an Ever-Greening World", in San Diego on October 21, three CMTA members (Del Monte Foods, Frito-Lay, Inc. and Searles Valley Minerals) were honored with awards for environmental excellence.

Del Monte received the award for their energy efficiency management program and their sustainability efforts at their Modesto facility. Their two boilers have been retrofitted to achieve an average of 94 percent efficiency resulting in significantly less fuel consumption, reduced nitrous oxides (NOx) output.  Their sustainability efforts have resulted in water conservation and reuse, reduction in caustic potash, warehouse lighting and compressed air retrofits and a 64 percent waste stream reduction through recycling.

Frito-Lay, manufacturers of Sun Chip snacks, has taken on the climate change challenge using, appropriately enough, the sun.  Partnering with the California Energy Commission, Frito-Lay received a research and development grant to develop and build a parabolic trough solar collection project.  The solar field is located within a 5-acre parcel in an open field adjacent to the existing manufacturing plant. The massive solar panels, made up of 54,000 feet of concave mirrors, move with the position of the sun. The thermal energy captured by 192 solar collectors focuses the heat into glass tubes filled with water.  The water is directed into the plant’s boiler system, where it will be converted into steam to heat the oil used to cook Sun Chips. At full capacity, the solar field produces one million British thermal units a year, significantly reducing the plant’s use of natural gas.  In addition to supporting solar energy, Frito-Lay has purchased renewable energy certified to match 100 percent of the electricity needed to produce Sun Chips in the United States.

Searles Valley’s mining operations in California’s high desert concentrated their efforts on reducing their energy footprint.  They shut down their natural gas-fired turbine at their Westend facility by installing a 4.8 mile stretch of 12-inch insulated steam/condensate pipeline from their Argus facility resulting in a NOx reduction of 88 tons/year and carbon dioxide (CO2) reduction of over 70,000 tons/year.  In addition, Searles overall energy conservation plan incorporated numerous projects resulting in more efficient recovery of waste heat, high pressure steam and compressed gas as well as increased recovery of target minerals and plant efficiency.

Congratulations to these companies for their commitment to using innovative programs and technologies to minimize their impact on the environment.

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