Ocean Spray Juices New Production Facility with Gas from Landfill

Ocean Spray Juices New Production Facility with Gas from Landfill

Ocean Spray is tapping into a renewable source of energy to power its new manufacturing facility in Wisconsin: methane gas from the nearby landfill.

Under a just-signed partnership between Ocean Spray and Onyx Cranberry Creek Landfill, construction will begin next month on a one-mile-long pipeline that will carry methane gas to the plant, where it will fuel steam boilers used to energize a cranberry concentrator currently being installed.

With Ocean Spray literally tapping that gas to power its boilers, greenhouse emissions from the landfill will be reduced by nearly 7,000 tons a year, the company estimates. The environmental benefits of the emissions reduction is equivalent to planting 15,000 trees or removing carbon monoxide emissions from 12,000 cars. In addition, say Ocean Spray representatives, the company will cut its annual fuel costs by 25%.

"It's the best of both worlds," said Michael Stamatakos, vice-president of operations for Ocean Spray. "Onyx has pioneered and perfected a process that will provide Ocean Spray an uninterrupted flow of power, allowing us to cut fuel costs and help Wisconsin Rapids reduce its greenhouse gas."

Ocean Spray and Onyx are investing a combined total of more than $2 million in the project.

Methane gas is a renewable fuel source produced from the natural decomposition process of waste materials, the largest source of man-made methane gas in the United States. The use of the methane gas is a strong conservation measure, utilizing a renewable fuel that otherwise would not be recovered for beneficial use.

"As a growers' cooperative, Ocean Spray understands the importance of doing our part to help preserve and, whenever possible, improve the local environment," said Stamatakos. "As we continue growing as a brand and as a manufacturer, we must seek out options that are both economical and environmentally friendly -- for the benefit of our grower-owners and the local community."

Pipeline installation and start-up of the company's new cranberry concentrator is scheduled for early this fall, in time to process the 2005 cranberry crop.