ANZCO Foods has achieved annual energy savings worth more than $2.8 million through a two-year programme implemented by DETA Consulting.
The programme comprised a series of small, complex energy efficiency projects at ANZCO sites around New Zealand. Capital investment in the project totalled $3.2 million.
The work was driven by energy management committees established at each site and energy audits conducted across the group.
The four main projects were an upgrade of the water heating system at ANZCO’s Canterbury plant, a refrigeration upgrade at the Waitara plant, replacement of the hot water system at the Kokiri plant near Greymouth and a water temperature adjustment at the Eltham site.
Several projects were undertaken at Eltham but the most notable was the installation of a new valve and control system to reduce the temperature of the water used for cleaning. Dropping the temperature to 62oC, from 82oC, achieved significant energy savings but also reduced the risk to cleaners working with high temperatures.
ANZCO says key challenges included the need to bring in specialist analytical skills to complement the firm’s engineering expertise at each site. Low-margins in the industry also restricted the capital available and necessitated minimal disruption to production.
As an example, the installation of the backup hot water system at Canterbury had to be carried out during tight time constraints. This was only overcome through after-hour and weekend work.
The company achieved three key regional highlights, including a saving of $178,700 at Kokiri, paying back the investment there in just over a year. ANZCO’s Rakaia facility reduced its energy consumption by 40 per cent and ANZCO saved $1.4 million as a result of upgrades and optimisation at Canterbury.
Post implementation, ANZCO says its facilities are future proofed and better able to deal with events that may have previously caused unplanned outages.
This was seen at the Canterbury plant where high winds reduced the plant’s electricity supply. As a result of the recent upgrades, the plant was less reliant on that supply and was able to continue running on reduced capacity, eliminating down time.
ANZCO saw a 10.7 per cent reduction in overall energy use across its facilities as well as a reduction in total energy costs of 5.3 per cent. Carbon emissions per kilogramme of meat have been reduced by 7.6 per cent and simple payback was achieved in 14 months, in line with the planned target.
ANZCO says the main intangible asset achieved is improved public, stakeholder and customer perception of the company. It is now expanding the project to embed a positive culture change among staff and stakeholders in all areas of the company’s operations such as transportation.
ANZCO says an industry-wide culture change is underway with several other major players in the meat processing industry indicating their intention to undertake similar programmes.
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