Partnership between Energy For Industry and Silver Fern Farms turns waste water sludge into energy
New technology is turning sludge from waste water into valuable bio-fuel with environmental and financial benefits for a Southland meat processing plant.
It's a bubbling fluidised bed boiler, well-proven overseas for its ability to handle low quality fuels. The 8.5MW unit was installed at Silver Fern Farms' Finegand plant by Energy For Industry under a build, own, operate agreement.
The new technology and innovative funding package have provided a financially viable solution to tough new water discharge rules, saving a $3.5 million investment in the traditional option for sludge disposal - composting it for a market that is already oversupplied.
The technology brings other important benefits including reduced dependence on coal, 9,500 tonnes of CO2 emissions avoided annually and significant improvements in air discharges.
While this is New Zealand's first sludge-fuelled boiler of thistype, the technology could easily be adopted by virtually any business that creates sludge or waste - meat and poultry processors and others.