Decarbonisation industry milestone reached in Timaru

A pioneering boiler conversion project is now ready to go, using wood chips to make potato chips while reducing emissions.

“McCain’s recently converted coal-fired boiler will reduce CO2 emissions at its Timaru plant by 95% and is a great example of the big climate gains we can achieve through new and innovative technologies,” said the Energy and Resources Minister, Megan Woods.

“By converting the coal-fired boiler to burn domestically sourced wood chips, made possible through government co-funding, McCain will reduce carbon emissions by approximately 30,000 tonnes per year, the equivalent of taking 11,000 cars off the road,” he said. Megan Woods said.

McCain’s $5.6 million conversion project received $2,876,500 in contestable funding from the Government Decarbonization Industry Investment Fund (GIDI).

“Thanks to our prudent management of the economy, we are able to support businesses to break free from outdated ‘business as usual’ mindsets and provide them with opportunities to remain competitive across multiple potential climate perspectives while reducing emissions.

“It’s great to see GIDI projects in action. It truly illustrates how government and industry can work together to accelerate our transition away from expensive and dirty fossil fuels. Our energy and industrial sectors account for 27% of our total emissions. We need to continue decarbonizing as fast as we can so we can keep up with where the world is going,” said Megan Woods.

In addition to this conversion, McCain Timaru also implemented a heat recovery system, using mechanical vapor recompression, to reduce steam demand. – a first for this industry in New Zealand. The technology recovers waste heat from the fryer for use elsewhere in the facility and will reduce total energy and fuel consumption by more than 37,000 GJ/year, which is roughly equivalent to the electricity used by 1,400 households.

“These types of projects show that by prioritizing demand reduction and energy efficiency, you can make fuel switching easier. These are lessons that can be shared and replicated by many other businesses to further help reduce our carbon footprint,” said Megan Woods.

Climate Minister James Shaw says projects like this are an essential part of the Emissions Reduction Plan and an important milestone on the journey to net zero.

“With our response to climate change, we are building an Aotearoa that is cleaner, safer and far more productive than it is today. Achieving our emissions targets will involve action and change in every sector of the economy. This type of project – converting large-scale industrial processes to clean energy alternatives – is a great example of what can be done when government works with industry to make big things happen faster.

“Recently back from COP27 in Egypt, I am now focusing directly on domestic action to reduce emissions and limit warming. Global progress on climate is frustratingly slow, but announcements like this show what’s possible, what we can actually do here and now – and that’s hugely encouraging,” said James Shaw.

The current GIDI funding round runs from 10 November 2022 to 2 March 2023, with application forms on the EECA website. To find out more about who is eligible, visit: EECA Industry Decarbonisation

Note to editors

  • The Government Decarbonisation Industry Investment Fund (GIDI) is administered by the EECA (Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority) and focuses on investing in and promoting cleaner industrial processes and process heat. This is achieved through energy efficiency, the application of new and innovative technologies and fuel switching.
  • In the first three rounds, $69 million in GIDI funding was allocated – across 53 major industrial decarbonization projects, with beneficiaries contributing $117 million of their own money. As a result of these 53 projects, an anticipated annual carbon emission reduction of 364,127 t CO2 and a lifetime carbon dioxide reduction of 7.46 Mt CO2 will be achieved.
  • The fourth round of beneficiaries of the expanded GIDI fund will be announced from December, and the fifth round will open on November 10 and close on March 2, 2023.
  • GIDI grantees are selected for their ability to demonstrate high value for money, a detailed broader carbon reduction plan and ability to complete the project within the specified timeframe.
  • Recipients in all rounds come from sectors including dairy processing, construction, metal manufacturing, indoor cover crops, meat and seafood processing, and textile and leather manufacturing.
  • To help meet the targets in the Emissions Reduction Plan (May 2022), the Government has announced extended funding of around $650 million to the Government Decarbonisation Industry Investment (GIDI) fund, from the Emergency Response Fund climate (CERF).
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