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An integrated oilseed crushing, refining and packaging company based in Manildra will switch to bioenergy thanks to support from the Federal Government.

The project is one of Australia’s first demonstrations of a large–scale food manufacturing company seeking to reduce costs and environmental impact by using biomass for thermal energy.

MSM Milling is replacing its current Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) steam boilers with a 4.88 MW biomass boiler fuelled by locally and sustainably sourced wood chips.

Federal Member for Calare, Andrew Gee said the Federal Government, through the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), has contributed $2 million to the $5.38 million project.

“The project is an example of a large scale industrial company simultaneously reducing their energy costs and environmental impact through an innovative approach to the use of bioenergy.

“MSM Milling has done a huge amount of research into finding an energy source that is right for its business.

“There is significant potential for this project to be replicated, supporting opportunities for the industrial sector.

“MSM Milling is a terrific local business and I’m delighted that the Federal Government is helping to lower its energy costs.”

MSM Milling Director Bob Mac Smith said the ARENA funding, combined with a significant company investment in the project, not only cements MSM Milling’s future as a regionally–based global food industry leader, it also helps to secure the jobs of 70 employees and allows the company to pioneer the way for other Australian manufacturers to adopt renewable energy technology.

“MSM Milling has spent a number of years researching to identify the optimal thermal energy solution for the plant to further secure our future and allow us to continue to provide sought after–trusted oil and value added oilseed products to local and international markets. The project will significantly reduce greenhouses emissions, fossil fuel energy and depletion, while increasing renewable energy generation in NSW – all in line with our company’s commitment to operate the lowest carbon footprint, the highest energy and water efficiency and the least overall environment impact,” he said.

“We’ve partnered with experienced technology providers Justen, Uniquip Engineering and carbon energy expert Ndevr Environmental for this project. We hope this project will become a cornerstone example of successful deployment of biomass energy technology for the purpose of replacing fossil-fuel fire boilers and as such will document and share the process of technology adoption to encourage further uptake within the Australian manufacturing sector,” Mr Mac Smith said.

The project will help to support growth of the Australian bioenergy industry which currently makes up around 0.9 per cent of Australia’s energy mix.