En­ergy–ef­fi­cient food pro­cess­ing in­creases sav­ings and re­duces car­bon

DEMM Engineering & Manufacturing - - FOOD - For more in­for­ma­tion about the Lower Car­bon Meat and Dairy Pro­gramme, email business@eeca.govt.nz or visit www.eecabusi­ness.govt.nz

New Zealand has a proud his­tory in be­ing one of the world’s largest dairy and meat ex­porters, pro­duc­ing high qual­ity prod­ucts for an in­ter­na­tional mar­ket.

And while agri­cul­ture is a sig­nif­i­cant and highly val­ued contributor to our na­tional econ­omy, meat and dairy pro­duc­tion is mostly re­liant on en­ergy in­ten­sive and high car­bon emit­ting pro­cesses.

With more than half of the ap­prox­i­mately 200 plants na­tion-wide us­ing coal-fired boil­ers, the Min­istry of Business, In­no­va­tion and Em­ploy­ment es­ti­mates meat and dairy pro­cess­ing alone con­sumes 13 peta­joules of coal – that’s 62 per cent of the coal used in in­dus­try!

As a coun­try, New Zealand ben­e­fits when meat and dairy heat plants re­duce their en­ergy costs, bol­ster their in­ter­na­tional rep­u­ta­tion in terms of car­bon im­pact, and mit­i­gate their wider en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pact.

While most meat and dairy plants have done en­ergy au­dits and know op­por­tu­ni­ties ex­ist, many don’t have re­sources or ex­per­tise to max­imise th­ese en­ergy ef­fi­ciency op­por­tu­ni­ties. Re­search shows that the big­gest op­por­tu­ni­ties are in en­ergy ef­fi­ciency projects, which gen­er­ate dou­ble the sav­ings of en­ergy sav­ings alone.

To en­sure busi­nesses get the support they need, EECA Business has de­vel­oped the Lower Car­bon Meat and Dairy Pro­gramme to help the sec­tor to eval­u­ate and un­der­stand com­mer­cial and car­bon ben­e­fits of en­ergy ef­fi­ciency.

To achieve this, EECA Business, along with our in­dus­try ex­perts, will work with own­ers to iden­tify en­ergy sav­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties – and work out a plan to achieve them. Meat and dairy pro­ces­sors can save en­ergy and re­duce emis­sions through a va­ri­ety of en­ergy ef­fi­ciency op­tions, for ex­am­ple: Fuel switch­ing – coal or oil to nat­u­ral gas or fos­sil fuel to wood Heat re­cov­ery – us­ing a high tem­per­a­ture heat pump or re­cov­ery of waste heat Boiler up­grade – in­stalling a more ef­fi­cient boiler and ad­di­tional economiser Bio­gas cap­ture and util­i­sa­tion (i.e. pond cover and gas clean­ing and com­bus­tion in­fra­struc­ture) Heat dis­tri­bu­tion up­grades – con­den­sate re­turn or heat line, steam trap, buf­fer tank in­su­la­tion Fund­ing is also avail­able for scop­ing the fea­si­bil­ity of th­ese kinds of car­bon emis­sion re­duc­tion op­por­tu­ni­ties and build­ing a com­pelling business case for in­vest­ment, for up to 50 meat and dairy pro­cess­ing sites across New Zealand.

EECA Business will fund up to 75 per cent of the costs, up to a max­i­mum of $15,000 per site. Re­cip­i­ents of this fund­ing will con­trib­ute around 25 per cent in cash or man­age­ment time and re­sources to the project. The tar­get is for busi­nesses to save the equiv­a­lent of $700,000 in en­ergy costs each year – about $70,000 per site.

For busi­nesses that lack the in-house re­source to pro­duce com­pelling fea­si­bil­ity stud­ies and business cases on en­ergy ef­fi­ciency and car­bon re­duc­tion ini­tia­tives, EECA Business has de­vel­oped a Guide to Writ­ing Business Cases and Fea­si­bil­ity Stud­ies for pro­gramme part­ners in the Lower Car­bon Meat and Dairy Pro­gramme.

The guide cov­ers how to ap­proach a business case, the in­for­ma­tion to in­clude, work­ing with clients, and fur­ther use­ful re­sources. This guid­ance will help de­velop high-qual­ity business cases that quan­tify co-ben­e­fits, align with company strat­egy, and pro­vide the in­for­ma­tion re­quired by man­age­ment to make de­ci­sions.

Once the business cases have been pre­pared, EECA Business will work with pro­ces­sorsto support them take ac­tion, through ad­vice, in­for­ma­tion to staff, and show­cas­ing achieve­ments re­sult­ing from the projects.

The Lower Car­bon Meat and Dairy Pro­gramme is ex­pected to save an es­ti­mated 7,000 tonnes of car­bon each year, which is equiv­a­lent to the car­bon emis­sions re­leased by 2,200 cars on New Zealand roads ev­ery year.

By part­ner­ing with EECA Business, meat and dairy plants can re­alise sig­nif­i­cant op­por­tu­ni­ties to save money and re­duce car­bon emis­sions through more ef­fi­cient use of en­ergy.

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