$AUD 85,000 from Low Carbon Australia fund for abattoir ammonia plant upgrade

By Janaina Topley Lira, Aug 29, 2012, 13:51 3 minute reading

The GM Scott beef and sheep abattoir in Cootamundra, New South Wales, Australia, is the first in Australia to receive Federal Government funding support for a carbon mitigation project involving a refrigeration plant upgrade. The abattoir is undertaking a  $AUD 200,000 (€165,054) project to install a new freezer complex and changeover to a more efficient ammonia cooling system.

GM Scott processes 3500 lambs and 200 cattle daily, and is undertaking a range of improvements designed to help its two industrial refrigeration units run more efficiently. The upgrade will allow the plant to expand production, boosting its future as a supplier to the Woolworths supermarket chain, to which it currently supplies boneless legs of lamb and frenched racks.
New efficient, ammonia cooling system will reduce the energy costs 
A new Freezer complex has been commissioned that will allow the freezing on site of cartons and lamb carcasses. The new chiller complex towards the rear of the existing facility will increase capacity by an additional 3000 lambs. In tandem the abattoir will changeover to an ammonia cooling system that will reduce the energy costs and provide a more efficient cooling system.
GM Scott worked with specialist refrigeration and process cooling consultant Minus40 to devise a cost effective way of making energy savings for the abattoir. Minus40's director Michael Bellstedt said the smart control equipment to be fitted will allow refrigeration to operate at reduced pressure ratios, which causes less stress on parts and prolongs operating life.
"These smart controls are less expensive than replacing existing equipment, yet they can make considerable inroads into operational efficiencies," he said.
The upgrade will provide the opportunity to explore the export of product direct from the GM Scott plant. The plant’s gas-flushed, cryovac sealed lamb products are sold into export and domestic markets. The chiller complex upgrade is part of the company’s broader sustainability commitment.
Clean Technology Porgram grant of $85,000 (€70,000)
The project has received just over $85,000 (€70,000) from the Australian Government’s Clean Technology Program, which is supported by Low Carbon Australia. Overall Low Carbon Australia is financing about 55% of the project.
Low Carbon Australia’s chief executive Meg McDonald said the project would allow the processing business to create significant energy savings. “It will help combat rising energy costs, improve productivity and further secure the abattoir’s future as a major employer of 200 local staff in Cootamundra,” she said.
While GM Scott is the first Australian processor to receive government financial support under the Clean Technology Investment Program (CTIP), the first batch of five applications from ‘permit-liable’ processing plants (those larger factories directly-exposed to the Government’s $23/tonne (€18/tonne) carbon tax) are expected to go before an AusIndustry review panel in time for the October review session in Canberra.
It is expected that the remaining five applications will be submitted under the CTIP before the end of the year.
The Federal Government established Low Carbon Australia in 2010 as a limited company with an independent board of directors. Its purpose is to provide financial solutions and advice to Australian business, government and the community to encourage action on energy efficiency, cost-effective carbon reductions, and accreditation for carbon-neutral products and organisations. Since its launch, Low Carbon Australia has contracted investments worth about $AUD 35m (€28.8 million).
GM Scott is a privately-owned processing business with an annual turnover of $AUD 25 million (€20.6 million). Established in 1952, it now employs 200 staff, making it Cootamundra’s largest employer. GM Scott processes 3,500 lambs and 200 cattle daily. It is able to produce 5,000 units of boxed gas flushed primal cuts per day and 5,000 units of ready for sale portions cuts. It produces its own products, beef, lamb, meal, by-products and skins, under the Noble Farm brand name.
Sydney-based engineering services firm Minus40 was founded in 2000 and specialises in refrigeration and process cooling systems and related technical fields.


By Janaina Topley Lira

Aug 29, 2012, 13:51

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