First Low-Carbon Canola Oil in Bioenergy Switch

First Low-Carbon Canola Oil in Bioenergy Switch | The Cultivator Spring 2019

In a multi-million-dollar cornerstone project for the Australian food processing industry, MSM Milling has become the nation’s first low-carbon canola oil producer.

The Australian family-owned company funded and commissioned a $5.38 million, state-of-the-art biomass-fuelled boiler with the help of a $2 million grant from the Advancing Renewables Program through the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA).

The 4.88-megawatt biomass boiler is fuelled by locally sourced renewable wood waste, forestry thinnings, offcuts and sawmill byproducts, to generate steam used in the canola processing operation.

MSM Milling Director Bob Mac Smith said the biomass boiler replaced three LPG boilers to deliver the vast majority of heat and steam requirements from renewables, and a 70 per cent reduction in thermal energy costs.

“In real terms, our switch from LPG to biomass will result in net emissions reductions of more than 80,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) equivalents during the life of the project,” said Mr Mac Smith. “It means we’re removing the CO2 equivalent of 1500 cars from the road each year.”

Mr Mac Smith said the company’s commitment to sustainability and adoption of renewable energy was in line with consumer demand for environmentally friendly products, production and supply chains, and businesses.

“It means we’re removing the CO2 equivalent of 1500 cars from the road each year” – Bob Mac Smith, MSM Milling Director

“We’re proud MSM Milling is one of the country’s first large-scale food manufacturers to make the switch to bioenergy – increasing NSW’s renewable energy generation and reducing greenhouse emissions, fossil fuel energy use and depletion of finite resources. The investment is also delivering domestic and international consumers the low-carbon food products they’re demanding,” he said.

“Our 100 per cent Australian, expeller pressed, non-GM auzure Canola Oil is now officially a low-carbon food product.”

ARENA Chief Executive Darren Miller said the fuel switch project – which received a Bioenergy Australia Commendation for Corporate Leadership at the 2018 Bioenergy Australia Conference, ahead of the boiler’s commissioning in 2019 – helped showcase the growing benefits of bioenergy uptake in Australia’s energy mix.

“MSM Milling is one of the first examples of a large Australian agricultural industry company reducing its costs and environmental impact by using biomass for thermal energy, and we see significant potential for the project to be replicated elsewhere in the industrial sector,” said Mr Miller.

MSM Milling partnered with boiler manufacturer Justsen and Uniquip Engineering, carbon energy expert Ndevr Environmental, and local industry experts for the project – documenting the whole process from conception, approval and development at bioenergy conferences across Australia, to encourage bioenergy uptake among domestic manufacturers.

With the fuel switch project showcasing the early adoption of the technology in Australia, the boiler manufacturer has since signed with other Australian companies to facilitate further uptake of bioenergy.

See the boiler in action at