Unicer Santarém in Portugal produces and distributes many types of drinks, including Superbock which is Portugal’s leading beer brand. The site is home to both a brewery and a soft drink plant.
Unicer is a brewery with a long history. The employees are very focused on the production and the quality of the beer. Initially they were not very focused on the energy consumption and it was a challenge to convince them about the importance of energy savings and to keep the focus.
There were initially two major reasons behind Unicer’s decision to save energy:
“First is the question of sustainability. Energy is a precious resource. If we don’t take care of our resources now, we won’t have them in the future. Second is the question of competitiveness. Unnecessary costs need to be cut to ensure we remain competitive in the market”, explained Pedro Moreira da Silva, Production Director of the Group.
Since the second year of the EnSave® project, Unicer has saved EUR 480,000 annually equal to a 20% reduction of the total utility costs. Furthermore Scanenergi Solutions has guaranteed the plant in Santarém savings of EUR 1.45 mill.
“I think the most important part of the project was the installation of Montage™ software, which enables us to control our consumption of energy in the brewery on a weekly basis”, Pedro Moreira da Silva, Production Director.
Using Scanenergi Solutions’ Montage™ software to generate weekly reports Unicer now has a complete overview of the energy consumption and the energy costs. This transparency in the consumption and the costs are useful for both João Fonseca, head of Santarem brewery, and to the corporate level; and it helps increase commitment to energy savings.
“Besides cost savings, we have obtained a structured way of following energy consumption. Deviations are visible with the Montage™ software, so we can correct them”, says João Fonseca, Head of Santarem brewery
Energy costs are visible and known to anyone with access to Montage and the results of their actions are shown graphically, so they can easily spot deviations and take corrective actions.
The people at Unicer have really taken the energy saving focus to heart. Throughout the company people are focused on how to reduce energy consumption and the EnSave project is not regarded as just a project, it has become a fully integral part of daily life.
“EnSave is neither a Unicer project or a Scanenergi Solutions project but a kind of joint venture where both parties feel ownership and are willing to fight for it”, explained Pedro Moreira da Silva, Production Director.
Super Bock is the only brand to have won 23, and even consecutively, medals in the international contest ‘Monde Sélection da la Qualité’. Imagine trying to change brewing processes of a product with such a proud tradition.
Nevertheless, the staff at Unicer has become very open to energy saving ideas and initiatives. Even if it involves changes in the brewing processes.
Step by step Unicer saw that they could make minor alterations in the brewing process and still keep the constant high quality of the beer. Quality and savings could be combined, and the reluctance to make changes has slowly decreased.