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Onions peels are the engine at Ongena
"Working entirely on self produced waste"
Uienschilbedrijf Ongena is opening a new location on the other side of the street this weekend. Owner Joeri Ongena: "We wanted to play into green energy more and therefore installed a bio gas installation. Combined with solar panels we will soon be able to run at full production on energy we generated ourselves."
Joeri with his wife Veroniek Maes. They founded the onion peeling company together in 2009.
The new building is almost ready for use
Burnt onion skins
"Of course we produce a huge amount of onion skins. We noticed that a lot of heat was released during composting: a source of energy. Why not process them ourselves and get all of the energy out of them? The electricity prices are constantly going up, this was also a factor." Ongena is investing fully in bio gas. "This is our showpiece. Besides generating electricity we can also heat the rinsing water and the offices with it."
The bio gas installation is still to be finished off, but can already be used.
The new building means a considerable expansion for Ongena. The old location, where all company activities currently take place, will remain in full use. Joeri: "During harvest we use the old building as a storage place for the unpeeled onions. Then the onions go to the new location to be sorted, peeled and processed further." At the moment Ongena produces peeled onions and cut onions in rings and cubes. The company also supplies centrifuged onions , specially for the fresh industry. Joeri: "With the expansion comes the space to think about new products."
The new building won't be finished until mid February but will be taken into use today. "We need the space and couldn't wait any longer. We also wanted to work in the new way as soon as possible, especially in connection with the waste processing." The bio gas installation will be started up next week and the solar panels will be finished this month as well. The new Ongena location attained the IFS certificate in higher level.
Ongena is a real family company. Nine people work at the cutter and agricultural company, which is also in the hands of family. The biggest customers are meal preparers, vegetable cutting companies and the meat processing industry.
The new building at an earlier stage
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Publication date: 2/7/2018
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