Carlsberg opens water reuse plant with belgian technology

On May 6 2021, Carlsberg inaugurated a new, revolutionary plant that recycles 90% of the process water at its flagship brewery in Fredericia, Denmark. This makes the Fredericia brewery the most water efficient in the world. Learnings from the brewery will enable the group to reach its target to virtually eliminate water waste globally by 2030.

Pantarein, a Belgian company that specializes in green water treatment solutions, built the plant for Carlsberg. Blue Foot supplied the essential membrane. Piet De Langhe, CEO Pantarein: “We built a state-of-the-art water treatment plant that allows up to 750.000 m3 water per year to be re-used within the brewery. This is the Champions League of water reuse.”

90 percent of process water from the production of beer and soft drinks will be recycled in the production facility. Water consumption will be halved from the current 2.9 hl of water per hl of beer to 1.4 hl of water per hl of beer.

Basic ingredient, essential impact

“We are immensely proud to be able to unveil the world’s most water efficient brewing facility. Water is a basic ingredient in all our products, so water resource management is a high priority. Our water to beer ratio has always been low. Now we are taking it a step further. By recycling process water in our production, we are virtually eliminating water waste,” says Philip Hodges, EVP Integrated Supply Chain, Carlsberg Group.

Water is not only a basic ingredient in the products from Carlsberg but is also essential to the sustainability of the societies where the brewery operates, and clean water is a priority in the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Therefore, Carlsberg has a goal of eliminating water waste by 2030 as part of the group’s sustainability programme Together Towards Zero. 

Innovation for circular water

“The plant in Fredericia is built on a new and innovative approach to cleaning and recycling process water where you, among other things, use UV-light to eliminate bacteria. At the same time biogas is produced as a residual product, which can be used to produce energy. It is a whole new form of circularity in food production. In fact, the process water ends up being clean enough to drink, but we are only using the water to clean the production facilities,” says Carlsberg Denmark Brewing Director, Anders Kokholm. 

Stephan van Hoof, CEO Blue Foot: “Frontrunner companies such as Carlsberg show that circular water is closer than we think. Water is a precious and scarce resource. That is a social and a business reality. In some cases, the availability of water even limits a company’s growth plans. We want to commit to sustainable water use and invite companies and local governments to do the same. After all, we want our children to be able to enjoy our scarce resources as well. Blue Foot provides a critical component in the process train that is necessary to achieve that goal. ”

The new facility was inaugurated at a special event attended by the Danish Prime Minister.


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