The first steam from Danone Nutricia NZ’s innovative new biomass boiler plant in South Otago is expected in August. In 2019, the French food giant announced a NZ$40million investment in its spray drying plant at Clydevale as it looked towards achieving carbon neutrality by 2021.
It was driven primarily by the installation of a NZ$30million biomass boiler that would reduce the plant’s CO2 emissions by 20,000 tonnes per year. The plant processes raw milk from local farms into powder used as the base for production of infant milk formula brands including Aptamil and Karicare.
Boilers played a central role in spray drying — the process of converting milk into a dry powder through the application of heat. About 85% of the entire plant’s energy needs come from steam production.
Unlike gas or coal-fired boilers, Danone’s biomass boiler will be powered by sustainable wood fuels, which will be sourced locally. The 35,000 tonnes of biomass hog fuel required will create 136,000 tonnes of steam annually. Full commissioning of the Clydevale plant is expected early in the fourth quarter this year.