ANZCO Foods saves $3million in energy efficiencies
She’s a tough dollar in the meat industry, with profit margins of around 1% for many companies. That means companies like ANZCO Foods would have to make $280m to bank the $2.8m it’s made in energy savings in the past two years.
The meat processor signed an energy management partnership with EECA (the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority) in 2012. Results have been so pleasing that the company’s now entered into another long term agreement with EECA to address culture, policy, best practice and transport for years to come.
"The energy efficiencies we’ve achieved have been so good, we want to dig in deeper and completely embed energy efficiency principles in the company”, says one of ANZCO Foods Asset Managers John Corcoran.
The process began when ANZCO Foods answered an EECA tender for companies interested in developing long-term energy management partnerships.
EECA General Manager Business Greg Visser explains, “We put out the tender to encourage the big companies to move on energy efficiency. We figured if we offered seed funding, we could get great results. ANZCO Foods put up its hand and proved that it was committed from the top, and I have to say our very small investment’s massively paid off; the other big players have noted the results and they’re getting on board. And ANZCO Foods itself is committed to ongoing energy management, self-funded. This is a culture change that will benefit the whole country, by reducing the need to invest in expensive new generation and transmission.”
ANZCO Foods contracted Deta Consulting to write its successful proposal, which aimed for $2.4m in savings across the group during the two-year period of the management plan. Deta Managing Director Jonathan Pooch is pleased that ANZCO Foods exceeded its target by $400,000, particularly as conditions were challenging at the start.
“The Engineering Manager at each of the company’s seven processing sites had to implement the energy audit. But they have full time jobs, and energy management was considered an ‘extra’. And while skilled at their jobs, they’re not energy experts, and that was also a barrier.
“The meat industry is always tough and it was even more so after the global financial crisis. At this time the company was being even more prudent in its financial management, but the programme still received Board support because it believed it to be a sound investment producing a good return.”
Pooch conducted the original audits across the group, and did the baseline monitoring as efficiencies were implemented.
Greg Visser explains the process,
“ANZCO Foods established energy management committees at each site, that’s always the first step. Jonathan Pooch from Deta is the overall energy manager, and John Corcoran is ANZCO’s overall manager on the project. And we have an EECA representative on the committees so EECA’s on-the-spot making suggestions.”
Once the expertise was in place, the company began the process of tuning boilers, insulating pipes, and replacing old plant with up-to-the-minute energy efficient kit.
For example ANZCO Kokiri (Greymouth) upgraded its hot water system and saved $178,700 in the following 12 months. The investment paid itself off in just over a year. ANZCO Rakaia has reduced its energy consumption by 40%.
But ANZCO Canterbury is the real poster child for energy efficiency; the plant has saved $1.4m in the past three years. They upgraded their heat recovery system, installed a new hot water ring main, and introduced a boiler tuning and optimisation programme. The plant saved $900k from the heat recovery system alone. The combined effort saved 23.2 GWh p.a in the first two years, which lifted to 30 GWh p.a. by February 2015.
In the face of these results, John Corcoran says senior management were keen to extend the programme beyond the initial two years, which has led to a new agreement with EECA.
“It’s good for the business from every perspective. Our sites are better maintained, more robust and reliable. We’ve seen processing efficiencies, leading to greater plant availability and reduced business risks. Energy costs are down, and we’re in a position to publicise our gains to conscious consumers, which is increasingly important internationally.”
“The numbers can work on paper, but to see them translate to real life gains and positively influence the bottom line is very satisfying.”
What were the main challenges along the way?
“The challenge, as in most cases, was changing people. A lot of the focus was on engaging with all ANZCO Foods employees. We made regular presentations and updates to senior leadership and site management, and used the company newsletter ‘Team Talk’ for broader internal communication.”
ANZCO Foods is aiming for a further 5% reduction in energy use by 2017 (15 Gigawatts), through refrigeration heat recovery, further employee engagement and transport savings.
- ANZCO Foods Ltd processes and markets New Zealand beef and lamb products around the world
- It has seven processing facilities and three manufacturing sites throughout the country
- $1.3b turnover
- $550m total assets
- 3,000 employees worldwide
Deta Consulting provides energy analysis and optimisation services throughout New Zealand. They focus on identifying and implementing practical improvements and real world results. Recent customers include Panpac Forest Products and Westland Milk Products.