M-10: The true history of Cervecera de Puerto Rico winner of Uptime Awards 2013 Best Green Reliability Program

M. G. CABRERA (1); (1) Cervecera de Puerto Rico, Mayagüez, U.S.A.

Sustainability I
Friday, June 6 - 2:00 p.m.-3:45 p.m.
Level 4, Grand Ballroom

The Compañía Cervecera de Puerto Rico (formerly known as Cervecería India) is one of two breweries in Puerto Rico. The company was founded in 1937 by the Valdés Cobián brothers (Alfonso, Sabino, and Ramón) in Mayagüez, the largest city on the west coast of Puerto Rico. The Valdés brothers were following the example of their father, Ramon Valdés, who had founded the Mayagüez Light, Power and Ice Company in 1910. In 1938, their first beer, Cerveza India, was released to the public and thus, the name change to Cervecería India shortly after. However, in October 2009 the brewery reverted to its original name Compañía Cervecera de Puerto Rico. The company’s main product is Medalla Light, a 4.5% ABV pale lager. The brewery also produces Malta India, a non-alcoholic soft drink made from barley. In 1940, it began producing Orange Crush and Old Colony sodas. On June 1, 2010, the brewery launched a new beer, Silver Key Light, and on August 1, 2011, followed the launch of Magna, a premium beer. Reasonable investments for a greener future started with the development of the company vision in terms of energy management: “Develop, implement and optimize existing installations with a sustainable and economically viable future, making sure that our industry does not harm the environment.” We first identified our main challenges in developing our strategic plan: 1) increase of prices of raw material, energy, and transportation; 2) help relieve worldwide shortage of water; 3) stay competitive; 4) reduce our carbon footprint; and 5) reduce total operational costs. These challenges are being overcome by our approach based on 1) our belief that green power is only truly green if used efficiently; 2) sustainability is not simply about saving the planet but about the environment, business, and society; and 3) energy efficiency is a by-product of reliability. Highlights of our program include: 1) reducing environmental (CO2) impact by 94% in four years; 2) reducing water consumption 67% in four years; 3) wastewater treatment plant maintenance cost reduced by 70%; 4) wastewater treatment plant power consumption reduced by 35%; 5) effectively using only natural refrigerant ammonia for sustainable and environmental friendly solutions (global warming potential = 0); 6) effectively implementing and integrating multi-technology condition-based maintenance program yielding an 86% reduction in total cost for the ammonia system in seven years; 7) thermal energy consumption reduced by 42% in six years; 8) total energy consumption reduced by 40% in six years; and 9) reducing wastewater discharge from 3.3 H2O/hL to 1.5 H2O/hL.

Marlon Cabrera was born in Colombia, where he earned his degree (magna cum laude) in mechanical engineering in 2002. In 2005 he completed his master’s degree in thermal sciences, energy management and process optimization at the University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez Campus. He worked 10 years in the brewery industry. Marlon currently is responsible for the utilities, maintenance, reliability, and sustainability area in Cervecera de Puerto Rico and specializes in developing strategies for effective energy efficiency and reliability, which has added value to the company by increasing efficiency in operating profits, recovering the ROI.

Brewing Resources

Ask the Brewmasters Technical Quarterly MBAA Webinars MBAA Podcasts Food Safety Brewery Safety Vendor Search