Our four state-of-the-art processing plants can match anything in the oil, chemical and power industries for complexity. We've invested around £1 billion in the last two decades to continuously improve our use of raw materials, installing leading technology in energy efficiency, gas and water treatment. This substantial investment has increased our operational agility and enabled us to explore new and exciting product stream opportunities.
Together, our sites produce over 2.3 million tonnes of sustainable products every year, from sugar to animal feed and electricity to tomatoes.
Around 4,000 farmers contract with us every year and between September and March, seven and a half million tonnes of sugar beet are delivered to our sites. The sugar beet travels an average distance of 28 miles from farms to our factories. We recycle stones for construction, lime for soil conditioning and topsoil for landscaping.
Once the sugar is removed from the beet, the remaining vegetable matter is dried to produce animal feed.
Our factories utilise a power generation system that produces both steam and electricity, called Combined Heat & Power (CHP). The system is recognised as one of the most fuel-efficient processes available, utilising about 80% of the energy in the fuel. More electricity is generated than our factories require and the excess is sold to utility companies, exporting enough electricity to power 160,000 homes per year.
Our 18 hectare glasshouse, the largest single glasshouse in the UK, hosts a quarter of a million tomato plants, taking the CO2 and water used in the sugar manufacturing process to grow an annual crop of around 140 million tomatoes.
In September 2007, we invested in the UK’s first Bioethanol refinery, producing up to 70 million litres of renewable fuel every year.
Since 1980, British Sugar has reduced the energy required per tonne of sugar in the UK by 40%. This has been achieved through a significant investment programme and the innovation demonstrated by our teams.
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