Kiwifruit marketer Zespri says all its packaging will become 100% reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025.
The boiler, already in operation since March, was officially opened with a ribbon-cutting by Prime Minister Jacinda Adern in mid-December.
Synlait chief executive Leon Clement said the boiler came out of the company’s commitment to sustainability stated about 18 months ago.
He said it was more expensive to run and to install, but the company had to consider how the rising cost of carbon would impact its business over the life of the boiler.
“We started to understand that even though today’s cost of carbon is $25 a tonne, at $40 a tonne this electrode boiler made economic sense as well as environmental sense.
“Whilst today our coal-fired boilers are economically better to run they are not good for the environment. The electrode boiler is good for the environment and in time it will also be more profitable for us. So that’s a really good example where we’ve been able to lead the way for New Zealand.”
The 6MW, 11kV boiler generates high-pressure saturated steam at 180degC, used to pasteurise and sterilise milk, clean production lines and equipment, and assist in forming production packaging, among other uses.
Clement said the boiler is providing the processing for Synlait’s new advanced dairy liquid facility, which produces pasteurized milk for South Island Foodstuffs supermarkets, and will also power a long-life ultra-heat-treated milk plant now being commissioned.