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Kekava rolls out major green initiative

Putnu Fabrika Kekava, the biggest Latvian poultry processor, plans to heavily invest in environmentally friendly technologies and build its own solar plant to cut carbon emissions.

This step is part of a broader green programme embarked on by Linas Agro Group, Putnu Fabrika Kekava’s parent company. The company explained that strong trade ties with Scandinavia were one of the factors pushing the company towards a more sustainable operation.

Putnu Fabrika Kekava, the biggest Latvian poultry processor, plans to heavily invest in environmentally friendly technologies and build its own solar plant to cut carbon emissions. Photo: Bert Jansen
Putnu Fabrika Kekava, the biggest Latvian poultry processor, plans to heavily invest in environmentally friendly technologies and build its own solar plant to cut carbon emissions. Photo: Bert Jansen

"Both our consumers and business partners in the Baltic and Scandinavian region expect products to be manufactured sustainably and responsibly. This is especially important in Scandinavia, where sustainability requirements are gradually becoming higher," said Andrijus Pranckevics, Chairman of the Board of Putnu Fabrika Ķekava.

Pranckevics estimated that Kekava consumes more than 23,000 megawatt-hours (MWh) of electricity, more than 700,000 m3 of water, and 80,000 MWh of gas annually.

"We plan to implement an ambitious sustainability strategy by 2030, and we have a clear action plan. It aims to increase the efficiency of resource management, including reducing the amount of water used in production, limiting the greenhouse effect by reducing gas and water emissions, and introducing sustainable packaging, and even higher standards of occupational safety and animal welfare," Pranckevics added.

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100% renewable energy from 2022

All Linas Agro Group poultry facilities have signed an agreement with Latvenergo, the largest electricity supplier in the Baltic States, operating under the Elektrum brand, under which, from 1 July 2021, poultry farms will only use electricity from renewable energy sources.

"Although the transition to environmentally friendly electricity due to higher electricity tariffs will cost us an additional €9,000 a year, we will take the first big step towards sustainable energy and reduce our carbon emissions. Meanwhile, next year we plan to start producing our own electricity from renewable energy sources to meet our needs," added Pranckevics.

Next year Putnu Fabrika Kekava plans to build a powerful 2 megawatt (MW) solar power plant. As explained by Pranckevics, the project is ready, with all necessary permits under the project have already been obtained.

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"Our calculations show that our solar panels will produce 13% of our electricity needs, and the investment will pay off in 7 years. Experts have estimated that the investment in a project of this size could be about €1.5 million," said Pranckevics.

One 1 MW power supply module will be installed next to the poultry houses at a total area of up to 21,000m2. The second module with a similar capacity will be installed next to the meat processing plants, the company said.