Woodlands launches biofuel boiler

2016-09-08 06:00
Woodlands Dairy launched the first-ever biofuel boiler in South Africa on Tuesday. Attending the launch are TF Designs Director Gideon Venter (project contractor), Woodlands Dairy CEO Lex Gutsche, MTO Group CEO Lawrence Polkinghorne and Global Energy Fund Managing Director Gordon Carrihill. Photo: IMPACT PHOTOGRAPHY

Woodlands Dairy launched the first-ever biofuel boiler in South Africa on Tuesday. Attending the launch are TF Designs Director Gideon Venter (project contractor), Woodlands Dairy CEO Lex Gutsche, MTO Group CEO Lawrence Polkinghorne and Global Energy Fund Managing Director Gordon Carrihill. Photo: IMPACT PHOTOGRAPHY

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WOODLANDS Dairy, the producers of First Choice dairy products in the Eastern Cape, launched the first-ever Biofuel Boiler in the South African diary industry on Tuesday - a R30 million capital investment.

The boiler’s primary fuel is biomass in the form of sustainable wood chips proposed and provided by MTO Forestry. The partnership with Woodlands Dairy allowed the installation of the Green Bio-Mass fuelled boiler system that will use the wood chip biomass from their sustainable Longmore sawmill as fuel. A long term contract has been signed to supply a minimum of 35 000 tons of biomass per year.

According to Kevin Stark, General Manager of Operations at Woodlands Dairy, they use between 90 and 120 tons of biomass on a daily basis.

TF Design (Pty) Ltd, designed and deli- vered a steam boiler system that will supply the majority of Woodlands Dairy’s steam needs. This will not only substantially reduce electricity usage, but will also reduce the use of HFO (oil) and carbon emission. Large quantities of steam are used in dairy processing to pasteurise and sterilise milk.

The installation comes as the result of a study conducted in 2012 and 2013 on the Carbon Footprint and Greenhouse Gas (GHG) at the factory. This study provided Woodlands Dairy with insight as to where the base line was and the goal was to put projects in place, based on the information obtained from the study to ultimately lower carbon footprint after constant monitoring.

Before the installation, continuous monitoring showed that the major contributor to the overall GHG footprint of Woodlands Dairy was imported electricity at 91% of the total. Analysis of the GHG model input data indica-ted that 72% of the total site’s electricity usage was due to the steam-raising process and boiler. By extension, 65% of the total site GHG footprint was accountable to the electrode boiler and reduction of this would be crucial to lowering the overall footprint.

Woodlands Dairy’s mission is to produce and deliver superior food products, while honouring the company’s commitment to service excellence, integrity and conserving the environment. This commitment includes minimi-sing the impact on the environment. It is with this in mind that Woodlands Dairy has committed to implementing an environmental management system that complies with the ISO 14001 standard requirements. This certification ensures that adequate management controls are in place to minimise operational impacts on the environment, ensure legal compliance as a minimum and continually improve our environmental performance.

“At Woodlands Dairy our ongoing focus on the environment means the tackling of our footprint right through the life cycle of our business from ‘cow to consumer’, through the reduction of operational impact and increasing recycling initiatives” says Lex Gutsche, CEO, Woodlands Dairy.

Woodlands Dairy will commission their own effluent plant later this year. They are also looking at the possibility of generating their own electricity in the future.

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