Norwegian coffee producer Joh. Johannson has partnered with Switzerland-based Bühler for the construction of a coffee processing plant claimed to achieve record-low greenhouse gas emissions.

The new plant will utilise an innovative coffee bean roasting technology, which uses a biogas that is close to carbon-neutral.

Bühler Business Unit Coffee Processing head Stefan Schenker said: “With Bühler, we have found a solution partner that fully understands our sustainability concerns and is capable of putting them to practice.

“Together with our customer Johannson, we are setting a new eco-standard in the field of coffee production.”

“In the processing industries, energy accounts for as much as 10% of the total cost.”

As part of the deal, Bühler will provide technology for the complete production process, from coffee intake to cleaning, blending, roasting and grinding.

Bühler’s Infinity Roaster features a preheating unit and a new energy recovery system, which collects heat from multiple heat exchangers to allow centralised intermediate storage of the energy released in temperature-stratified water tanks.

Most of this stored energy is recycled back into the roasting process and preheating of green coffee. It may also be reused to raise the temperature of the incoming cold air.

The new technology will help reduce the energy consumption of the roasting process by 50%.

In addition, the new facility is expected to feature one of the most advanced off-gas purification units for roasting systems, Regenerative thermal oxidation (RTO). This enables smart control of the air currents, which means heat can be stored and recycled.

Scheduled to be in operation by mid-2019, the new facility is expected to produce up to 12,000t of coffee per year.

Joh. Johannson CEO Espen Gjerde said: “This project stands to boost our competitiveness in the marketplace. The system’s energy consumption, slashed to the absolute minimum, is not only extremely sustainable, but also makes sound business sense.

“In the processing industries, energy accounts for as much as 10% of the total cost. We are now the world’s sole producer that can offer its customers top-quality coffee that has been produced as environmental- and climate-friendly as possible, with excellent taste.”