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Woodlands Dairy takes another sustainability step

Woodlands Dairy in Humansdorp has installed a second biomass boiler, in a move that greatly reduces its need for heavy fuel oil and electricity. The first biomass boiler was commissioned in 2016.

These boilers use woodchips, which are a waste product generated at sawmills during the harvesting and milling process to produce timber.

Woodlands Dairy receives three truckloads (ie 87 tons) of wood chips from the nearby Longmore forest sawmill per day.

Rick Nel, the engineering manager at Woodlands Dairy explains the technicalities of the process. “The wood chips are offloaded onto biomass fuel bins, which store roughly 150 tons of wood chips. A conveyor belt transports the wood chips to a Ram feeder and from there they enter the biomass furnace.

“There, hot flue gasses are created and feed through a fire tube into the boiler. Once the hot gasses have passed through the boiler, the gas passes through grid collectors and are exhausted via a tower stack. The steam generated in this process is used to sterilise and pasteurise milk.”

André Adendorff, Woodlands Dairy’s sustainability manager, confirms that, “The main objective behind the decision to install the first biomass boiler was the reduction of heavy fuel oil (HFO) and electricity needed to generate steam for the plant.

“The Humansdorp facility of Woodlands Dairy reduced its electric-boiler consumption by 40% by changing over to a biomass boiler, and has reduced the consumption of HFO by 83% in the year following the commissioning the first biomass boiler.

“The energy impact of the second biomass boiler is estimated to be 10.7% more biomass utilised than in 2022. This is due to a milk intake increase of 3%, but there will be an estimated 31.0% reduction in HFO in 2023.

“The nett environmental impact of these two energy sources are expected to reduce GHG emissions at Woodlands Dairy by a 1046 t/CO2e per annum or 3% of the current footprint.”

Source: Woodlands Dairy via LinkedIn