Heineken Manchester brewery

Source: Heineken

Heineken UK’s three-phase plan aims to significantly decarbonise the supply chain

Lager and cider maker Heineken UK is to pump £25m into its Manchester brewery as part of efforts to decarbonise its UK production.

Heat pumps and a heat pump network will be installed at the facility to capture and reuse thermal energy in beer brewing and packaging. The investment forms part of Heineken’s wider sustainability plans, including the decarbonisation of UK production by 2030. It also ties into Manchester’s campaign to become a net zero city by 2038.

The Manchester brewery investment was supported by a £3.7m grant from the Department of Energy, Security & Net Zero. Heineken’s Tadcaster and Hereford sites, and the full value chain, will undergo decarbonisation funding in a three-phase plan up to 2040.

Government funding going towards brewing sustainability

Once complete, investments at the Manchester facility will result in up to a 45% gas reduction as well as reduced carbon emissions at the site, which produces 700 million pints of Heineken, Birra Moretti and Foster’s a year.

The investment would build on its wider company efforts to reduce emissions, said Heineken UK MD Boudewijn Haarsma.

Energy efficiency and green finance minister Martin Callanan said: “Heat pumps are key to helping us decarbonise our heating and I’m delighted to see government funding go towards such an innovative scheme that will help cut emissions and show businesses how to move away from costly fossil fuels.”

Heineken brewhouse decarbonisation

The heat pumps will be powered by renewably sourced electricity, retrieving and distributing heat through an interconnected network across the facility from brewing to packaging. “By introducing this circular process, waste heat is redistributed from the brewing process to replace the thermal energy previously generated from burning fossil fuels,” said Heineken.

“The second phase of the brewery’s journey to reduce its carbon emissions will be the decarbonisation of the brewhouse, which is scheduled to take place in 2024. The third and final stage will require the site to use additional alternative renewable energy, which work is underway to identify,” the company added.

Heineken’s investment comes as brewers and alcohol producers face increasing alcohol duty taxes next month. The 10.1% rise would likely be passed on to consumers, industry experts have suggested, and lands as a new alcohol duty system comes into play on 1 August.