Electricity from Biomass Converting Nutshells into Electricity
Merck commissioned a climate-neutral co-generation plant at its production site in Goa, India. In doing so, the company is underscoring its commitment to climate protection and energy efficiency in line with its corporate responsibility..
Darmstadt – Merck has started a climate-neutral co-generation plant at its production site in Goa, India. The project is part of a company-wide climate protection program. Merck previously commissioned a new co-generation plant at its headquarters in Darmstadt in July.
The co-generation unit, which has a power output of 3 megawatts, generates electricity and steam for the pharmaceutical and chemical production operations in Goa. Merck is mainly recycling the shells of cashews and coconuts, two crops that are farmed in the region, to use as biomass fuel. Overall, this will make it possible to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by around 11,500 metrics tons, corresponding to around 85% of the site's total CO2 emissions. The biomass plant, which represents an investment of more than € 3 million, will ensure that the site has a reliable supply of energy and can operate independently of the public power grid.
The climate protection program Edison comprises around 300 climate protection and energy efficiency activities of the Merck Group. The objective is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from energy generation as well as to enhance the energy efficiency of research and production processes. Merck aims to reduce its total direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions by 20% by 2020, measured against the 2006 baseline. At its site in Jaffrey, New Hampshire (USA), Merck plans to further its renewable energy work by commissioning a biomass central heating plant next year.
Merck's Goa site is located in Usgao, around 45 kilometers from Panaji, the capital of the Indian state of Goa. More than 300 employees manufacture vitamin preparations, industrial and laboratory chemicals as well as microbiological products, among other things.