MSM Milling will soon flick the switch on a pioneering $5.38 million bioenergy installation — one of Australia’s first demonstrations of a large-scale food manufacturer investing in a transition to bioenergy.
Gas-fired boilers that generate steam to power the canola crushing, refining and packaging operation at Manildra, NSW, are being replaced with a 4.88MW biomass-fuelled boiler using timber residue sourced locally from forestry thinnings, sawmill by-products and offcuts.
The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) recently announced a $2 million grant for the project, which MSM Milling Director Bob Mac Smith said cemented the regional-based company’s future as a global leader in the food industry, by securing 70 local jobs and paving the way for other Australian manufacturers to adopt renewable energy technology.
Mr Mac Smith said MSM Milling spent years researching the optimal thermal energy solution for the plant “to further secure our future as a trusted local and international provider of sought-after Australian oil and value-added oilseed products.”
“The project will significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions and fossil fuel energy use while increasing renewable energy generation in NSW – all in line with our company’s commitment to operate with the lowest carbon footprint, the highest energy and water efficiencies and the least overall environmental impact,” he said.
“We’ve partnered with experienced technology providers Justsen and Uniquip Engineering, and carbon energy expert Ndevr Environmental for this project — and we will document and share the process of adopting this technology to encourage further uptake within the Australian manufacturing sector.”
With bioenergy accounting for less than one per cent a fraction of Australia’s energy mix, ARENA CEO Ivor Frischknecht expects MSM Milling’s innovation “to go a long way to encouraging other companies” to turn to biomass.
“By integrating renewable energy options into the production process, MSM Milling is showing its commitment to sustainability and renewable energy,” Mr Frischknecht said.