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Repeat Success For Fonterra Energy Project

Repeat Success For Fonterra Energy Project

A Fonterra project to cut energy use across the company by 10 percent has won the Industrial section of the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority – EnergyWise Awards for the second time in three years.

The Energy Reduction Project, which set out to achieve a 10 percent reduction in Fonterra’s energy use by 2009, was first trialled at three of the company’s manufacturing sites in 2002, and has since been rolled out across the country.

General Manager New Zealand Manufacturing Brent Taylor says the recent trend of rising energy prices (energy is Fonterra’s third largest manufacturing cost, behind only labour and plant depreciation) made efficient energy use a vital part of overall manufacturing efficiency, which was in turn essential for the company to maintain its international competitiveness.

“Since we launched this project, Fonterra – along with all other New Zealand manufacturers – has had to contend with rapidly rising energy prices, making it more important than ever that we continue to explore new plant equipment and new ways of working that reduce our energy consumption.”

Mr Taylor said that uncertainties around future energy supply, as well as the growing concern about the potential effect of greenhouse gas emissions on the environment, meant Fonterra’s improved energy efficiency was also good for the community as a whole.

“The level of savings we are set to achieve by the end of the next processing season will mean a reduction of around 150,000 tonnes of CO2 a year,” he said.

Mr Taylor said the reduction in energy used per litre of milk processed was even more impressive when the increase in downstream processing of by-products such as whey was taken into account.

Accepting the award on behalf of the project team, Senior Technologist Stacey Fellows said Fonterra had no intention of resting on its laurels. With the target date for achieving 10 percent savings across the company having been brought forward two years, Fonterra was eyeing new challenges.

“The Lichfield site, which was the first to achieve the 10 percent target, has gone on to hit 17 percent, and we are looking at ways we can continue to improve performance across the company as a whole.”

- Ends -

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