Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Waitoa boiler boosts cleaner energy at Fonterra

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Site cuts coal use in half with new wood biomass boiler.
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Fonterra’s Waitoa manufacturing site is now using around 50% less coal as its new wood biomass boiler swings into action.

Waitoa is the third Fonterra manufacturing site to reduce coal use last year, as part of the co-op’s plan to reduce its Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 50% by 2030 (from a 2018 baseline).

The new wood biomass boiler will reduce the site’s annual emissions by at least 48,000 tonnes of CO2e, the equivalent of taking 20,000 cars off New Zealand’s roads and is another significant step in the co-op’s transition to a low carbon future.

Fonterra chief operating officer (acting) Anna Palairet said Fonterra is committed to moving to more sustainable fuel options as part of its ambition to be net zero by 2050.

“Being a leader in sustainability is a strategic priority for the co-operative and we know we have a part to play in helping New Zealand meet its climate targets.

“Fonterra has invested around $90 million in this new boiler, which will make a 3% reduction in our emissions. It is just one of the many decarbonisation projects underway across the co-op.

“Earlier last year we moved off coal to wood biomass at our Stirling site and announced projects at Hautapu where we are converting the coal boilers to use wood pellets, and at the FBNZ Palmerston North site where we have installed a heat pump and solar thermal system.  These projects follow earlier wood biomass projects at our Te Awamutu and Brightwater sites.

“When you add together the emissions reductions from all projects complete or underway across our manufacturing operations, they reduce our CO2e emissions by a forecast 16% from our FY18 baseline – 279,000t per annum – the equivalent of 116,200 cars off NZ roads.”

The installation of the new boiler at Waitoa will also give a boost to the local wood biomass industry, with Wood Energy NZ supplying wood chip to power the biomass boiler. 

Waitoa is also the home of the co-op’s first electric milk tanker, Milk-E, which to date has collected over 5.5 million litres of milk and completed 1004 farm collections. 

Fonterra is trialling the electric milk tanker as part of its plan to reduce transport emissions.

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