Guinness brewery to be powered by GE gas engines

Berlin, June 26, 2012 — Spirits company Diageo, has once again tapped Clarke Energy, a distributor of GE’s Jenbacher gas engines, to install turnkey combined heat and power (CHP) plants at its Guinness breweries in Ogba and Benin City, Nigeria to lower their energy costs and increase production.

The two, 3.3-MW CHP plants will each feature a natural gas-powered Jenbacher J620 gas engine and a backup diesel engine from a different supplier.

GE announced the brewery CHP projects in conjunction with the Africa Energy Forum 2012 in Berlin, Germany. The Jenbacher product line supports GE’s CHP applications designed specifically for GE Food and Beverage Solutions.

In all, Diageo operates three Guinness breweries in Nigeria. Guinness Foreign Extra Stout has been brewed in Nigeria since 1962. Nigeria actually drinks more Guinness than the brand’s home country of Ireland, making the African nation the world’s second-largest market for Guinness, behind only the U.K.

The new Ogba and Benin City projects represent the fifth and sixth Jenbacher CHP engines that Diageo has installed since 2008 at its Guinness Nigeria brewing operations to help lower energy costs and help keep pace with the steady growth in demand for its products.

In 2008, Diageo first installed a Jenbacher J620 cogeneration unit at its Guinness Ogba brewery, where the system was connected to a waste-heat boiler to produce steam for the brewing process. The second installation in 2010 was configured to use the exhaust heat directly into an absorption chiller to provide a source of cooling for the plant.

Also in 2008, Diageo installed its first two Jenbacher J620 cogeneration systems at its Guinness Benin City brewery. In addition to producing steam, the Benin City brewery’s Jenbacher unit was connected to an absorption chiller to create chilled water from the engine’s exhaust heat.

The Ogba and Benin City breweries are expanding their existing CHP plants to generate even more reliable electricity and steam while using cleaner-burning, less-expensive natural gas as the primary fuel. The Jenbacher J620 CHP units are scheduled to be fully installed, tested and in operation by the first quarter of 2013.

Guinness Nigeria plc, a unit of Diageo, was incorporated in 1962 and the following year opened its Ogba brewery in Ikeja, Lagos. Ikeja was the first Guinness brewery to be built outside of Ireland and the United Kingdom.

Steady growth in Africa’s demand for Guinness Stout and Harp Lager prompted the opening of more breweries in Nigeria. In 1974, the company built its second brewery — Benin City —  that originally produced Harp but was later expanded in 1978 to also make Guinness. In 1982, Guinness expanded its brewery at Ogba to also brew both Harp and Guinness. In 2004, a third Guinness brewery was opened at Aba in Abia State to further increase production capacity.

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