World Grain - July 2018 - 56
FEATURE: AUSTRALIA'S POWER STRUGGLE
In the context of a rising energy
market, the co-gen plant and energy
capture technology have proven to
be a blessing in disguise.
Jointly owned with energy provider
AGL, the co-gen site was built in 2002.
At the time, Coopers signed a 20-year
agreement locking in a price subject
WR &3, EXW QR RWKHU PDUNHW ÀXFWXDtions. At the time, the price Coopers
agreed to pay was above the market
rate, but as power plants around the
state closed and market prices rose,
Aside from electricity, the co-gen
plant also produces waste heat that
is captured to make steam that is
used throughout the brewery and
malthouse, reducing gas usage.
"By generating electricity and using waste heat to produce steam, we
have been able to achieve a 70% ef¿FLHQF\UDWHIRUWKHFRJHQSODQW´
Cooper said. "By being able to
build the brewery from scratch, we
were also able to take a long-term
view and invest in technology that
has enabled us to save 20% on energy consumption when compared
Technology used in both the brewery
and the malthouse captures energy that
would otherwise be wasted. Cooper
explained the pre-heating of the kiln
in the maltings is one example of how
this works. Buehler Engineering was
asked to develop a kiln that could
use the excess steam produced during
energy generation to pre-heat the air
pumped into the furnace.
Cooper said that by using excess
steam to heat the air entering the kiln
rather than burning gas, total gas usage has been cut by approximately
30% to 40%. Having two operations
(a brewery and a malthouse) has furWKHUERRVWHGHI¿FLHQF\DVWKHH[FHVV
steam not used by one operation is
easily transferred to the other.
Cooper estimates the energy savings translate to 13 cents per carton
of beer, or a 1.5% cut in overall operational costs.
"As we are a family-owned company, we could take a longer-term
view on this investment, which we
expect will take 10 years to pay
USING OFF-PEAK POWER
Another family business, Lauke
Flour Mills, which has operations
in South Australia and Victoria, has
had to adopt different strategies to
manage power prices.
Peter Cobb, general manager of