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Danone unveils USD-20m biomass project at New Zealand plant

Wood pellets. Author: U.S. Department of Agriculture. License: Creative Commons, Attribution 2.0 Generic

July 31 (Renewables Now) - Global food company Danone (EPA:BN) plans to spend NZD 30 million (USD 19.8m/EUR 17.8m) to equip its New Zealand spray drying plant with a biomass boiler, aiming to make the site carbon neutral by 2021.

The project envisages the installation of a biomass boiler that will be designed and constructed by France’s Veolia. The facility is expected to save 20,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions annually from the Nutricia manufacturing base in Otago, on New Zealand’s South Island, where Danone processes raw milk for the production of infant milk formulas.

The food giant explained that around 85% of the entire energy consumption of a spray drying plant comes from steam. The new boiler on South Island will use locally sourced wood products as fuel, making the site New Zealand’s first carbon-neutral plant of its kind.

The project is part of Danone’s goal to achieve carbon neutrality across its entire business by 2050, with an interim goal for a 50% reduction of CO2 emissions intensity by 2030.

In total, the company intends to invest NZD 40 million in the particular facility to reach its carbon neutrality goal. This also covers the installation of a new water treatment plant.

(NZD 1.0 = USD 0.661/EUR 0.593)

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Veselina Petrova is one of Renewables Now's most experienced green energy writers. For several years she has been keeping track of game-changing events both large and small projects and across the globe.

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