Danone drying plant, New Zealand

Global food company Danone is investing $25.8m in a biomass project to make its Nutricia spray drying plant in New Zealand carbon neutral by 2021.

Key to delivering this target will be the installation of a $19 million state-of-the-art biomass boiler that will reduce the plant’s CO2 emissions by 20,000 tonnes per year.

Read more:
11 African brewing sites to become carbon-friendly by 2020

Energy and water sustainable solutions company Veolia will be responsible for designing and managing the construction of the biomass boiler.

Danone’s investment in the plant also includes the installation of a new water treatment plant to more efficiently treat water waste.

The drying plant is located at Balclutha, in the Otago region of South Island, New Zealand. The plant processes raw milk sourced from 18 local farms into a powder used as the base for infant milk formula.

Read more:
Ghana inks $5.7m deal to build a 400kW waste-energy plant

Biomass fuel sourced locally

Boilers play a central role in spray drying – the process of converting milk into a dry powder through the application of heat – with around 85% of the entire plant’s energy consumption coming from steam production.

Danone’s biomass boiler will be powered by wood fuels, which will be sourced locally. 

Read more:
Pyrolysis: A basket of biomass potential

Cyril Marniquet, Danone’s New Zealand operations director, said: “This significant investment, in what we expect to be New Zealand’s first carbon-neutral plant of its kind, underscores Danone’s global ‘One Planet. One Health’ vision and the belief that the health of people and planet are interconnected.

“We share the New Zealand government’s ambitions in delivering a low-emissions, climate-resilient future. At Danone, we’ve set ourselves an objective of becoming a carbon-neutral company across our entire scope – from farm to family – by 2050. It is through key investments like this one that we take a step forward towards reaching this ambition.”

Alexandre Lagny, Veolia’s New Zealand manager said the company was excited to deliver the project as part of its global strategic partnership with Danone.

“Veolia has supported Danone with the development of the biomass project, aligning available biomass resources with optimal conversion technologies, while leveraging the company’s operational expertise to achieve the best possible environmental footprint for the site.”

Originally published on PEI by Kelvin Ross