29 Nov 2022

Factory switches boiler from coal to woodchips for potato chip production

2:22 pm on 29 November 2022
Wooden board with tasty french fries and ketchup on table, closeup

Photo: 123rf

A coal boiler has been converted to use woodchips to make potato chips, cutting emissions at a South Canterbury factory by 95 percent.

The $5.6 million boiler conversion project at McCain Timaru received about half its funding from the government's Investment in Decarbonising Industry Fund.

"By converting their coal boiler to burn domestically sourced woodchips, made possible by government co-funding, McCain will reduce carbon emissions by approximately 30,000 tonnes per year," Energy and Resources Minister Megan Woods said in a statement. "That equates to taking 11,000 cars off the road,"

McCain Timaru has also introduced a heat recovery system to reduce steam demand and recover waste heat from the fryer by using mechanical vapour recompression.

The total reduction of energy consumption for fuel use equates to the electricity used by 1400 households.

Woods said it illustrated how the government and industry could work together to move away from fossil fuels.

Climate Minister James Shaw said projects like these were a core part of the Emissions Reduction Plan.

"Meeting our emissions goals is going to take action and changes across every sector of the economy.

"This kind of project - converting large-scale industrial processed to clean energy alternatives - is a great example of what can be done when government partners with industry to make big things happen quicker."

The funding round runs until March and information on who is eligible is on the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority website.

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