Energy efficiency could save $700,000

Silver Fern Farms' Finegand meat works in South Otago.
Silver Fern Farms' Finegand meat works in South Otago.
Silver Fern Farms is investing about $1.4 million in an energy management initiative that it says will deliver cost savings of $700,000 a year within two years.

The company is working with the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) to achieve annual energy savings of more than 13 gigawatt hours.

It will incorporate energy efficiency into its business strategy and invest in more efficiency projects in its processing plants.

Improved energy management was a key priority for the business, Silver Fern Farms chief executive Keith Cooper said.

''In everything we do, we want to do our industry and our country proud. The way we look after our resources is a mark about us as a company.

''It is important that we make our production infrastructure as energy efficient as possible to enable the best use of the resource.''

Under the initiative, Silver Fern Farms will develop energy management plans for five of its larger sites - Finegand (South Otago), Pareora (South Canterbury), Fairton (Mid-Canterbury), Takapau and Pacific (both Hawkes Bay).

The plans will include implementing systems to identify, evaluate and implement energy efficiency opportunities.

Most of the sites were older plants that had been built on or extended over the years, Mr Cooper said.

It was a ''bite-size'' approach and the company would learn from those five sites. There was ''no doubt'' it would be successful and the projected savings were conservative, he said.

''The energy savings resulting from this plan will assist us to provide ongoing financial benefit to the business,'' Mr Cooper said.

It was not about reducing costs or people but about being smart and efficient. There was a lot to be learnt from the initiative, he said.

EECA business funding of up to $240,000, contingent on achieving energy savings targets and other milestones, was available to the company.

Energy and utility consultants Enercon has been contracted by Silver Fern Farms to assist in in establishing the energy management plans and associated energy efficiency projects.

In December last year, EECA Business announced it would support an initiative to help another meat company, Anzco, over two years, to help generate long-term energy savings in its plants.

The programme would target a reduction in its processing plant energy use by 25GWh, returning ongoing annual savings of $2.45 million after two years.

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