Media

CEFC, Commonwealth Bank help Shepparton manufacturers stay ahead of the pack

15 July 2014


Shepparton manufacturers learned how to slash their energy costs and stay ahead of competition at a Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) and Commonwealth Bank-hosted seminar on Tuesday, 15 July.

The seminar demonstrated how using finance to upgrade operations is helping manufacturers future-proof their businesses, upgrade equipment to reduce energy costs by 15 to 50 per cent, and enhance energy productivity and competitiveness in a tough economic climate.

CEFC Chief Executive Officer, Oliver Yates, who was among presenters at the seminar at Parklake Hotel in Shepparton, Victoria, said the CEFC and Commonwealth Bank have a $100 million Energy Efficient Loan product available to manufacturers and have already supported food processors and manufacturers to save on energy costs.

"Shepparton East's own Radevski Coolstores is among businesses that have accessed finance through us to improve refrigeration, and reduce their energy costs by about a quarter. We're proud to have helped the family business keep costs down and continue to supply fruit to major markets along the eastern seaboard," he said.

The Energy Efficient Loan has been used by apple and chestnut supplier Nightingale Bros in Wandiligong to upgrade its refrigeration system and cut energy costs by about 40 per cent.

"Refrigeration accounts for up to 85 per cent of energy consumption in cold storage businesses, so savings have a significant positive impact on the business's bottom line," Mr Yates said.

"We've also helped Wodonga Rendering install a gas-fired trigeneration plant to supply electricity hot water and steam, reducing its reliance on grid-supplied electricity and plastic products manufacturer Global Roto-Moulding, in Irymple, is using CEFC and Commonwealth Bank finance to upgrade its rotational moulding ovens, and is expected to  halve oven energy use."

The Shepparton seminar also provided insights into the outlook for the Australian economy from CommSec economist Savanth Sebastian and on the outlook for energy prices and energy efficiency investment from Energetics Executive Director Jon Jutsen.

Dr Michael Bellstedt, Principal of MINUS40 provided refrigeration case studies to illustrate potential savings.


ABOUT THE ENERGY EFFICIENT LOAN PROGRAM

Under the Energy Efficient Loan (EEL) program, the CEFC and Commonwealth Bank are co-financing loans for businesses to save on their energy costs. The EEL is designed as a cost-effective financing solution to help businesses, particularly those from the manufacturing sector, upgrade equipment to reduce their energy costs while preserving precious working capital. The program is available nationwide for projects that meet CEFC eligibility criteria. 

Information about finance under the EEL program is available from Commonwealth Bank Relationship Managers or Asset Finance Business Development Managers. 


ABOUT AUSTRALIAN MANUFACTURING

The manufacturing sector, which employs 950,000 Australians and contributes about $100 billion or 6.8 per cent of Australia's total GDP, is highly energy intensive and since 2000, electricity prices faced by some manufacturers have increased by 115 per cent.

The Climate Institute has estimated potential savings from untapped energy-efficiency measures in the manufacturing sector would be worth $2.4 billion in 2020.

Food and beverage manufacturing, particularly meat and meat product manufacturing hold the greatest potential for energy savings.

ClimateWorks says the types of projects that present the largest potential are process design and optimisation, including improvements to motors, conveying, mixing and handling equipment and reducing thermal losses to refrigeration systems, ovens, dryers, furnaces/kilns and boiler systems. Waste heat can also be captured and used to pre-heat materials and reduce the fuel inputs required to perform other industrial processes, reducing production costs.