13 december 2016
A mobile solution for the UK's best-loved sweet pickle
In the early hours of the morning, a major fire hit Premier Foods' the UK’s largest food producer plant of Branston pickle in Bury St Edmunds (28 million jars sold annually). For twelve hours 150 firefighters from Suffolk and neighboring counties tackled the blaze at the only factory producing Branston pickle. It was an emergency of national proportions; creating panic that England was about to lose what the Daily Mail called “a national treasure”. The fire devastated the factory and forced production to be shut down, threatening shortages before Christmas.
To get production moving again and to meet the seasonal demand, Premier Foods hired in a temporary boiler to provide the steam for production needs such as cooking and pasteurization. However, boilers need softened water, and the softeners had been lost in the fire along with the boilers. A new water softening plant to supply 30m3/h was
Premier Foods turned to Veolia Water Technologies who provided one of its Mobile Water Services
units to be on site ready to supply the temporary boiler with softened water. The Mobile Water Services
softening unit is a complete water softening plant – tanks, pumps, controls and triplex ion exchange softener – installed in a standard 40’ shipping container.
Once exhausted, the complete trailer is returned to Veolia Water Technologies’ central regeneration facility, which means zero discharge on site and no problems of handling or disposal of regenerant chemicals. On-site chemical systems can be completely isolated whilst maintenance or repair work is carried out.
The system was so successful that Premier Foods ordered a second unit which was on site within ten days. The two Mobile Water Services
units supplied the site for nine months until Premier Foods’ new boiler-house was commissioned. And one trailer was retained for a further three months until the new plant had passed inspection.