1 August 2013
The Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) and National Australia Bank (NAB) are to co-finance an innovative waste to energy project at Darling Downs Fresh Eggs, a major Queensland poultry business.
CEFC CEO Oliver Yates said the bioenergy project would demonstrate the potential for the industry to convert its waste products into valuable renewable energy source, cutting energy costs, dramatically reducing carbon emissions and its reliance on traditional electricity and gas supplies.
Mr Yates said the Darling Downs Fresh Eggs project, which was expected to reduce the business's current grid electricity usage by 60 per cent in the first year, was replicable and scalable. The CEFC has received strong market interest for aggregation finance and delivery models for productivity enhancing projects such as this.
"There are more than 400 egg farms in Australia producing 2.34 billion eggs in a year. Installing biogas digesters at these sites would yield enough power to support the energy needs of more than 8,500 average family homes," he said.
Leading biogas-based renewable energy company and CEFC strategic alliance partner, Quantum Power is working with its own strategic partner RCM International to design and deliver the $2.86 million onsite power plant for the family owned poultry business at Pittsworth.
Quantum Power's CEO Richard Brimblecombe said RCM International's proven expertise in designing and delivering digesters across the US would support Quantum Power to deliver the generator.
"We're expecting a reduction in carbon emissions of up to 1,000 tonnes per annum, through the reduced electricity and LPG usage. The plant will also reduce the site's methane emissions by over 6,000 tonnes CO2e per annum," he said.
"While Darling Downs Fresh Eggs will access power from the grid in peak periods, the digester will produce sufficient energy to operate 100% of the businesses energy requirements in all other periods."
Darling Downs Fresh Eggs CEO Geoff Sondergeld said this is the first digester within the Australian egg production sector and the business was expecting cost savings of more than $250,000 from year one.
"This project will achieve efficiencies by capturing biogas generator heat for use in chicken rearing sheds and hot water for the grading floor - almost eliminating the need for a separate gas source for heating."
Mr Yates said the Darling Downs Fresh Eggs project would show other agricultural businesses how investment in bioenergy had the potential to boost productivity through reduced operating costs.
The CEFC and the National Australia Bank, are co-financing the project, with the balance of project costs being met from an Australian Government grant of $333,823 through the Clean Technology Food and Foundries Investment Program and with Darling Downs Fresh Eggs funding the balance.
About Darling Downs Fresh Eggs
Darling Downs Fresh Eggs (DDFE), established in the early 1980s, is 40km South West of Toowoomba in the Darling Downs region in Queensland. The business is a family owned and operated enterprise providing high quality farm fresh eggs. DDFE uses the latest farm production technologies to ensure the product maintains the highest possible quality standards.
The integrated food manufacturing business produces point-of-lay pullets, shell eggs, grades and packages eggs, undertakes wholesale and retail distribution of eggs, and mills and wholesales stockfeed.
It currently distributes eggs within Australia to Adelaide, Darwin and Sydney as well as the Queensland centres of Toowoomba and surrounds, Cairns, Townsville, Mackay, Rockhampton, Sunshine Coast, Brisbane and the Gold Coast.
Darling Downs Fresh Eggs produces between 4.5 million and 5.5 million dozen eggs a year. It has about 20 full-time staff working in packing, distribution, the feed mill and the office.
About Quantum Power
The Quantum Power Limited Group of Companies is an Australian niche power business focused on the production of energy from biogas. The group is a developer, owner and operator of power stations generating electricity and co-generated heat primarily from biogas.
The Quantum Power generation system targets clients with existing digestion infrastructure in place, and those requiring complete turnkey solutions to establish these systems.
About the Clean Technology Investment Programs
The Australian Government's Clean Technology Investment Programs provide incentives for manufacturing businesses to reduce emissions and invest in cleaner energy. The programs are part of the Australian Government's Clean Energy Future plan and provide grants to help manufacturing businesses invest in energy-efficient capital equipment and low-emissions technologies, processes and products. For more information visit ausindustry.gov.au, telephone 13 28 46, or email firstname.lastname@example.org