New Zealand 29.01.2024

Fonterra to install its first electrode boiler at Edendale to reduce emissions

Source: The DairyNews
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Fonterra's Green Stride: Introducing First Electrode Boiler at Edendale to Slash Emissions, writes The DairyNews.today
Fonterra to install its first electrode boiler at Edendale to reduce emissions
In a determined move to shift away from coal, Fonterra has unveiled plans to install a 20-megawatt electrode boiler at its Edendale site in Southland. This initiative aligns with the cooperative's commitment to exit coal usage by 2037 and achieve a 50% reduction in Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 2030, measured from the 2018 baseline.

The anticipated $36 million investment in the electrode boiler is projected to curtail Edendale site emissions by approximately 20%, equivalent to 47,500 tonnes of CO2e annually—akin to removing nearly 20,000 cars from New Zealand's roads. Upon its operational commencement in FY25, this investment will contribute to Fonterra's broader goal of decreasing overall carbon emissions in New Zealand by close to 3% per annum, relative to the 2018 baseline.

Anna Palairet, Fonterra's Chief Operating Officer (acting), highlighted the comprehensive evaluation of energy options undertaken by the team before settling on the electrode boiler. Considering the complexity of Fonterra's nationwide manufacturing operation and the daily processing of up to 15 million liters of milk at the Edendale site, the selection prioritizes both secure energy supply and cost-effectiveness.

Palairet stated, "Getting out of coal requires significant investment, and we need to choose the best option that reduces emissions and operational complexity while also doing what's best for our farmer shareholders."

To meet its electricity needs, Fonterra has partnered with Meridian Energy, a provider that generates electricity exclusively from 100% renewable resources—wind, water, and sun. Neal Barclay, Chief Executive of Meridian Energy, commended Fonterra for its commitment, emphasizing the significance of such partnerships in aiding New Zealand's pursuit of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

As part of Fonterra's broader emissions reduction strategy, the Electric Boiler Project is co-funded through a partnership with the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA). This collaboration is expected to result in approximately 2.1 million tonnes of earlier CO2e reductions across Fonterra's manufacturing sites.

Fonterra's ongoing efforts to reduce emissions involve a combination of energy efficiency initiatives and transitioning away from coal at its manufacturing sites. Recent successes include the operational wood biomass boiler at the Waitoa site, reducing emissions by at least 48,000 tonnes of CO2e annually. Similar initiatives at Hautapu, Stirling, Te Awamutu, and Brightwater sites underscore Fonterra's commitment to sustainable practices and a greener future.
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Aaron Smith
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Dr. Sylvain Charlebois
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February 2024
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