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Te Awamutu Courier - 2021-10-14

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Group welcomes decarbonisation investment in processing plants

The Country

Food and solutions cooperative Alliance Group says decarbonisation projects at three South Island processing plants is a major boost to its goal of reducing its carbon footprint. Alliance Group and the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) will co-fund the projects at the co-operative’s Lorneville and Mataura plants in Southland and at Smithfield plant in Timaru. Together, the plants employ about 3000 people at peak season. As part of the decarbonisation project, Alliance will install an electrode boiler to reduce the use of existing coal fired boilers at its Lorneville plant near Invercargill, saving 11,739 tonnes of carbon per annum. The co-operative will also replace the existing main coal fired boiler at its Mataura plant with a high temperature heat pump system and small diesel boiler used only for peaking, saving 6401 tonnes of carbon per annum and significantly improving the air quality for local residents. In the third project, Alliance will capture waste heat from the refrigeration plant at Smithfield to replace coal use for process heat, saving 3811 tonnes of carbon per annum. The emissions savings from the decarbonisation projects represent the equivalent of taking more than 8000 average sized passenger cars off the road. “In 2019, Alliance Group set a goal of ending the use of coal at our plants within 10 years,” says David Surveyor, chief executive of Alliance Group. “We have been tracking the carbon emissions from our plants, examining other fuel options across our network and rolling out a range of energy-saving projects. “The co-operative aims to cut our carbon footprint significantly and this investment will help us reach that goal faster. “It marks another milestone in our Energy Transition Pathway developed in collaboration with EECA to decarbonise our seven processing facilities and secure a low emissions future for the cooperative. “We are proud to be contributing to New Zealand industry’s decarbonisation journey. “This investment also enables us to keep jobs in the region, will stimulate the local economy and support local employment. “Importantly, adopting clean technology means a healthier work environment and air for our people and our communities.” The Lorneville project will be delivered by October 2023 and will result in the equivalent of taking 4348 average sized passenger cars off the road. The Mataura project will be delivered by March 2023 and will result in the equivalent of taking 2370 average sized passenger cars off the road. The Smithfield project will be delivered by June 2023 and will result in the equivalent of taking 1411 average sized passenger cars off the road.

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