Australian beef processor Teys Australia have taken a massive step in reducing its carbon footprint and energy reliance with the development of a $42 million Low Emissions Energy Hub (LEEH) at the company’s Wagga facility in NSW.
The Australian-first project will include a combination of bio-generation of methane, solid waste digestion, solar panel arrays, energy storage and biomass-driven boilers to produce steam. Teys will fund half of the project’s overall cost and will apply to government for the remainder.
“Energy and water costs at the company’s Wagga facility had skyrocketed to $2 million in the last financial year and that Australia’s beef processing costs were up to three times higher than international competitors,” said Tom Maguire, Teys chief supply-chain officer.
In a move designed to bring sustainability and long-term security to the Wagga plant, the LEEH will result in the facility becoming independent with all electrical and thermal energy needs to be met by the hub. This will free up the available power in the grid, particularly during peak periods.
“The new LEEH hub would have significant returns for the facility, Wagga and the environment,” Maguire said.
“The various technologies included in the hub – baseload bio-generation, solid waste digestion, solar PV, energy storage and biomass boilers producing steam – will provide stable baseload power that integrates with the grid, improving energy security and reducing emissions.”
The region’s farmers would also benefit, with the local farms standing to increase their income by supplying farming waste to the site to be used for energy generation.
“The LEEH will give us a competitive edge for a business that contributes $512 million to the regional economy and supports 4,000 direct and indirect jobs,” Maguire added.
Teys Australia has won numerous awards for its eco-efficiency, environmental and sustainability practices. In the last two years, the company has invested in a number of energy and water efficiency projects, including the installation of a 300kW solar farm and a biogas powered co-generation facility in its Condamine feedlot on Queensland’s Darling Downs.
“Teys will continue to invest in sustainability measures, not just because it’s great for the environment, but also a perfect fit for our business,” Maguire said.
“Teys was provided a practical environmental solution consistent with the Federal government’s newly announced climate solution fund.”