Fonterra cuts carbon emissions at Brightwater plant

fonterraNew Zealand dairy giant Fonterra is cutting carbon emissions at its Brightwater milk processing plant by converting the coal boiler so that it can be co-fired with wood.

Minister of Energy and Resources, Hon Dr Megan Woods, officially switched on the newly converted boiler at the plant today.

The dairy multinational has come under public pressure in recent years to cut the use of coal boilers for drying milk.

The conversion reduces the amount of coal used and cuts carbon emissions at the site by around 2,400 tonnes a year.

Last year Fonterra developed a Road Map to Transition to a Low Emissions Future with the Ministry for the Environment.

Robert Spurway, Fonterra COO global operations, says the conversion is part of a wider plan to reduce emissions across all sites.

“We’ll take what we learn from this conversion and apply it to our longer-term co-firing strategy for other boilers across the country. Brightwater shows what’s possible when it comes to reducing our reliance on fossil fuels.”

“We’re serious about meeting our targets to reduce carbon emissions by 30 per cent by 2030 and net zero by 2050 across all New Zealand operations. Achieving them will involve a combination of energy options and energy efficiency gains,” Spurway said.

Andrew Caseley, EECA’s chief executive, said that the project demonstrates the power of co-firing.

“Co-firing has wide potential for replication with other businesses that use coal boilers, with the ultimate goal of replacing fossil fuels with renewable energy,” Caseley said.

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