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Cavendish Farms opens new bio-gas plant in PEI

Cavendish Farms, one of North America’s biggest French fry producers and a member of the Irving group of companies, officially opened a new bio-gas plant yesterday at its potato processing operations in PEI. The company said the new plant will help clean up pollution at its operations and is a first for the potato industry in North America.”Today we are proud to unveil our bio-gas facility as an example of our corporate approach to researching, investing and implementing innovative new ways that we can create sustainable and environmentally friendly processing methodologies,” Cavendish Farms president Robert Irving said at the official opening. “This is the first facility in the potato industry to take solid potato waste and convert it into usable energy.” Although many plants treat waste water produced from processing, the Cavendish plant also takes the solid waste material from French fry production and, through composting, converts it into energy for the Cavendish plants. “The investment in this new technology benefits our environment while being financially beneficial to our business model,” Mr. Irving said. “It is a true win-win for Prince Edward Island.” The ceremony was also attended by PEI Premier Robert Ghiz and some of his government’s senior ministers. Mr. Irving said the new plant will cut greenhouse gas emissions from the Cavendish Farms operation by 30 to 35 per cent. The original idea for the plant was explored in 2004, with development beginning two years later. The project was led by the Irving engineering group, with help from Stantec Engineering of Fredericton, a unit of Edmonton-based Stantec Inc., and German bio-gas design firm Krieg & Fischer Engineering. Cavendish Farms operates two potato plants in Prince Edward Island and one in North Dakota and has other agricultural operations in Atlantic Canada and the United States.