Malteurop works to achieve maximum energy efficiency to limit the use of resources. This is done firstly by implementing the energy mix that is best suited to the availability of energy resources locally and to energy costs on the market; then, during the production process, by optimising consumption and recovery of energy.

Strategically, Malteurop has two goals and one ambition: Good technical and economic performance, increasing the share of renewable energy sources in energy mixes, and eventually, energy autonomy.

Seeking the most appropriate energy sourcing

Malteurop combines several sources to meet its energy needs, which are currently 1265 GWh per year. The choice – gas, electrical or biomass boilers – is determined for each industrial site depending on local conditions.

Heat pumps

Malteurop is a precursor in the use of heat pumps in the malt industry (since 1984 at its malting plant in Vitry). From electricity, heat pumps produce thermal energy with a high coefficient of energy performance (COP). Malteurop uses heat pumps in malting plants located in countries where energy for driving power is less expensive in terms of relative value. In France, for example, the Vitry and Pringy malting plants have recently been retrofitted with new-generation heat pumps.

Gas cogeneration plants

Cogeneration plants produce both thermal and electrical energy from gas or biomass energy. The thermal energy is used to heat water, mainly during the kilning cycle. At Malteurop, several malting plants (notably in France and Spain) are equipped with gas or biomass cogeneration plants.

To manage how these many modular sources are combined, Malteurop and its partner Dalkia have developed a new smart computerised energy management system. Developed at Vitry.

Renewable energy: Malteurop moves to biomass cogeneration

Malteurop is investing concretely in the development of renewable energy sources through its projects for cogeneration plants using biomass heating.

The principle they are based on is combustion of wood and cereal-grain waste in a boiler that produces steam. The steam is then used in the malting plant’s kiln and also channelled to an electrical power generator.

A pilot biomass cogeneration project, in partnership with Dalkia – the European leader in the field – is in the construction phase at the malting plant at Vitry. Starting in early 2013, renewable resources derived from coppice wood from the Ardennes forests, recycled wood and vegetable waste from malting barley will be used to heat this biomass heating plant. It will meet the needs of the malting plant and also produce electricity for re-sale to the national utility.

Optimising energy consumption during the malting process

During the processing of barley into malt, it is during the kilning phase that the most energy is consumed. A software tool for modelling thermal consumption enables the amount of energy used during kilning to be optimised. Technical adjustments and optimisation of ventilation outputs and yields, blowing temperatures and recycling of the air exiting the kiln are monitored and adjusted to optimum levels in real time.

The gradual implementation of monitoring of each site’s energy performances, the standardisation of intra-group guidelines and the development of tools for process piloting – reducing losses due to aerodynamic drag, peak loads and failure to respect the laws of thermodynamics in particular – have resulted in continuing and lasting reductions in energy consumption per ton of malt produced.

… and recovery of energy from processes

Malteurop is investing in the installation of energy recovery systems in its malting plants. At stake is the recovery of two types of energy – process energy and air-conditioning energy.

Recovering process energy

Indirect-heating systems recover energy from the kiln via static exchange in thousands of tubes of glass. Commonly used in the group's malting plants, which were the first to use them, these heat recovery systems are now being modernised and fitted with glass tubes using a new technology and with new surfaces that increase the recovery rate thanks to a higher heat transfer coefficient.

Recovering energy from air and water cooling

Malteurop is organising the recovery of energy from condensation of refrigerant fluids used for production of the cold necessary for process phases – steeping, germination, kilning. These energies are recycled to meet energy needs for processing air for kilning