Alliance rendering plant up and running
@devlincolle The Alliance Group has finished commissioning its $25 million rendering plant at Lorneville near Invercargill.
Rendering plants process animal waste products into non-edible protein products such as pet food.
Stage one and two of the plant were finished and had cost about $23m.
The plant is processing raw material from Alliance's Lorneville, Mataura and Makarewa processing plants and produces about 50 tonnes of meat meal each day for pet food manufacturers and animal feeds.
It also produces about 80 tonnes of tallow each day, which is used in cosmetics and biofuels.
The products are exported to international markets such as China, North America, Europe and Asia.
The mostly automated plant is run by four staff and a supervisor and runs for almost 24 hours.
Last year chief executive Grant Cuff said about 40 jobs would be affected but workers would be absorbed into other roles.
Innovative technology at the plant has led to almost zero waste and it is expected to save the co-operative 9000 tonnes of lignite and more than 1.5 million kilowatt hours of electricity a year - enough to power 170 homes.
A Press Dewatering System uses less energy, resulting in high product yields and low wastewater output.
Alliance Group energy management co-ordinator Aiann Cairns said the new plant was a key milestone in the co-operative's plans to consolidate its southern rendering operations to improve productivity, reduce costs and increase energy efficiency.
It would be a major contributor to Alliance Group's income and the investment in technology would ensure it maximised revenue, he said.
He believed it contributed about 10 per cent to the company's bottom line. "Since 2000, Alliance Group has reduced fuel and electricity use per unit of production by 32 per cent and 14 per cent respectively, with an associated reduction in greenhouse gas emissions."
Almost 2000 people are employed at Lorneville, which is New Zealand's largest sheepmeat processing plant.