Kraft Heinz Among Recipients of $6 Billion in Govt. Awards for Decarbonization

March 25, 2024
The only food processor named, Kraft Heinz won $170 million to upgrade 10 facilities with heat pumps, anaerobic digestors, solar and thermal energy projects.

The Biden administration announced $6 billion in funding today (March 25) for projects that will slash emissions from the industrial sector — among the awards is $170 million to Kraft Heinz.

Tucked in there among projects from Cleveland-Cliffs Steel Corp., Dow Chemical and Exxon Mobil is the grant to Kraft Heinz for the installation of various technologies to decarbonize food production at 10 facilities, reducing annual emissions by more than 300,000 tons of carbon dioxide annually.

“These plants produce various food products, and these new projects’ technologies can be replicated across a wide range of food and beverage manufacturers,” said a Kraft Heinz news release. “This investment will fund part of ‘The Delicious Decarbonization Through Integrated Electrification and Energy Storage’ project, helping these locations reduce annual emissions by more than 99% from 2022 levels – a significant step forward in the company’s global net-zero ambitions.”

Kraft Heinz will use the funds to install a range of technologies, including heat pumps, electric heaters, electric boilers, anaerobic digestors, biogas boilers, solar thermal, solar photovoltaic, and thermal energy storage. The company anticipates the project will create an estimated 500 construction jobs across the 10 plant sites, providing opportunities for employees to receive additional training and develop new skills related to the new technologies.

“The infrastructure changes made at these 10 plants will allow us to replicate successful technologies and processes across our remaining U.S. plants and globally, making us more efficient as we continue to make upgrades to more locations,” said Helen Davis, SVP and head of North America Operations.

The 10 sites include Champaign, Ill.; Columbia, Mo.; Fremont, Ohio; Holland, Mich.; Kendallville, Ind.; Lowville, N.Y.; Mason City, Iowa; Muscatine, Iowa; New Ulm, Minn.; and Winchester, Va.

The project will significantly benefit these 10 plants by 2030, as estimated below (compared to 2022 levels):

  • Overall energy use after the implementation of energy efficiency measures, electrification and onsite generation will decline by 23% (from 1043 GWh/year to 801 GWh/year).
  • Natural gas use will decline by 97%, with the remaining 3% being used for standby equipment.
  • Total water use will be reduced by 3%.
  • To develop the application, Kraft Heinz engaged Engie, a company that provides strategic consulting, global reporting and implementation support to corporations, governmental organizations, and municipalities on their net-zero journeys.

News reports called the government awards the largest-ever U.S. investment to decarbonize domestic industry to fight climate change. The industrial sector is responsible for roughly 25% of all the nation’s emissions and has proven difficult to decarbonize due to its energy-intense, large-scale operations.

Funding is coming from the Inflation Reduction Act and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said during a call with news media that the technologies being funded are “replicable,” “scalable,” and will “set a new gold standard for clean manufacturing in the United States and around the world.”

White House climate adviser Ali Zaidi said this funding aims to eliminate 14 million metric tons of pollution each year, equivalent to taking about 3 million cars off the road.

About the Author

Dave Fusaro | Editor in Chief

Dave Fusaro has served as editor in chief of Food Processing magazine since 2003. Dave has 30 years experience in food & beverage industry journalism and has won several national ASBPE writing awards for his Food Processing stories. Dave has been interviewed on CNN, quoted in national newspapers and he authored a 200-page market research report on the milk industry. Formerly an award-winning newspaper reporter who specialized in business writing, he holds a BA in journalism from Marquette University. Prior to joining Food Processing, Dave was Editor-In-Chief of Dairy Foods and was Managing Editor of Prepared Foods.

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