The new energy-saving high temperature heat pump has been developed for the co-operative’s Nelson plant, which will help cut carbon emissions, recycles waste heat from the plant’s refrigeration systems.
Billed as a first for the New Zealand sheep and beef processing industry, the heat pump has been installed in collaboration with the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA).
Meanwhile, Alliance is also examining fuel options for its other plants. It is currently looking at upgrading the existing boiler at its Mataura plant in Southland to provide a number of benefits including improvements to emissions and efficiency, and considering further opportunities for other sites in the future.
“Alliance has a comprehensive sustainability programme in place to improve our impact on the environment and we have the financial strength to invest in these improvements,” said Alliance Group chief executive David Surveyor. “We recognise we have to play our part and improve our environmental footprint. Our customers and consumers have high expectations for how the co-operative manages the natural environment and they also expect transparency and ethical food production.”
Alliance’s seven processing plants, which employ almost 5,000 people at peak season, have annual performance targets for fuel and electricity use, which make up the majority of the co-operative’s annual emissions.
“We regularly monitor our environmental impacts and energy use at all sites and assess what improvements are needed,” added Surveyor.
EECA Business Account Director Paul Bull added that efficient use of electricity is an option businesses are starting to employ to displace fossil fuels in food processing. “Making use of New Zealand’s highly renewable electricity instead of fossil fuels like diesel and coal means processors can cut their carbon footprint and future-proof their operations.
“EECA supports large energy users to make smart business decisions that make sense for the long term.”
Energy efficient LED lighting has also been installed at the Alliance Group’s Lorneville, Pukeuri, Smithfield, Nelson and Mataura plants after a successful introduction at Levin and Dannevirke. This represents an investment of almost $2m and energy savings of approximately 5,629,971 kWh per annum