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Mackie’s to Modernize Ice Cream Freezing Plant with Ammonia System

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Düsseldorf, Germany-headquartered GEA has signed a contract to supply an environmentally friendly cooling system to Mackie’s of Scotland, which has been producing premium ice cream for the UK market since 1986. The order is worth approximately £4.5 million.

As part of the project, Mackie’s will replace its existing freezing plant in Aberdeenshire with an ammonia-based, low carbon and energy efficient cooling system with an absorption chiller from GEA. It will be the first large-scale ice cream production plant in Scotland to combine biomass heating and absorption cooling. This innovative solution will support the company’s plans and ambitious goal of achieving CO2 reductions of 90 percent and energy cost savings of 70 to 80 percent.

Mackie’s stated aim is to be one of the UK’s most environmentally friendly companies. It currently produces over ten million liters of ice cream per year. The new cooling system will be one of the most advanced in Europe.

The green initiative involves replacing the gases used in the refrigeration systems from “partially halogenated” chlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), which have a high global warming potential, with ammonia. The nitrogen and hydrogen compound (NH3) is a natural, environmentally friendly refrigerant that has no impact on global warming or ozone depletion.

“Our corporate vision includes the goal of being the most environmentally friendly company in the UK,” said Mackie’s Finance Director Gerry Stephens. “Over the years we have invested locally in renewable energy, including four wind turbines and the largest solar farm in Scotland. As our energy needs grow with us, we are excited about this innovative combination of technology and environmentally friendly refrigeration. It represents the final step in our efforts to become self-sufficient in renewable energy.”

Scott White, GEA’s sales manager, added: “When we were designing an ammonia system for a site that had no experience with this refrigerant, we assisted Mackie’s with all the process and regulatory issues that needed to be addressed. We have a wealth of experience in designing and installing systems based on and using this technology.”