New Zealand 24.01.2024

Unique hybrid emissions reduction solution by Fonterra

Source: The DairyNews
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Fonterra, a leading dairy cooperative, has introduced a groundbreaking hybrid emissions reduction solution at its Palmerston North manufacturing site. The co-op's inaugural high-temperature heat pump and solar thermal plant combination is operational at the Fonterra Brands manufacturing site, a major producer of fresh white milk for the North Island.
Unique hybrid emissions reduction solution by Fonterra
The innovative heat pump converts excess heat from chillers and compressors into a valuable heat source, significantly reducing the natural gas required by the site. This pioneering approach is anticipated to eliminate 495 tonnes of CO2e annually, equivalent to removing 140 cars from the road.

This achievement represents the fourth site within a year to enhance energy infrastructure as part of Fonterra's commitment to achieving a 50% reduction in scope 1 and 2 emissions by 2030, measured from a 2018 baseline.

Graham Thomson, site manager at Fonterra Palmerston North, expressed excitement about the unique combination of a commercial heat pump and solar thermal plant contributing to reduced gas consumption and emissions output. The project received co-funding from the Energy Efficiency Conservation Authority’s Government Investment in Decarbonising Industry (GIDI) fund, playing a pivotal role in informing future decarbonization initiatives at Fonterra.

Fonterra is actively pursuing a comprehensive decarbonization effort, aiming to further decrease emissions through energy efficiency measures and fuel switching at six manufacturing sites that currently rely on coal. The cooperative plans to phase out coal usage entirely by 2037.

One notable initiative involves converting the coal boilers at the Hautapu site to wood pellets, with an expected reduction of 15,785 tonnes of carbon emissions annually upon completion. Additionally, the Stirling plant's wood biomass boiler has been commissioned, enabling the site to transition to fully renewable thermal energy and reduce carbon emissions by 18,500 tonnes each year. The recently operational Waitoa wood biomass boiler is projected to slash annual carbon emissions by approximately 48,000 tonnes, equivalent to removing around 20,000 cars from New Zealand's roads.

Fonterra's commitment to sustainable and innovative solutions underscores its dedication to addressing climate challenges and fostering a more environmentally friendly future.
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