Installation of a new heat recovery system at the Altona plant has the potential of reducing CO2 emissions by 1,600 tonnes.
While The Matraville plant is using a 50% mix of recycled water and town water in their manufacturing process, in Altona, Melbourne they are using 100% recycled water in their manufacturing process when it is available.
Melbourne has just come out of one of the driest periods in 30 years and the process of recycling water is part of a larger plan to achieve both sustainability and cost benefits.
Three years ago the Altona Plant received funding to install a ‘heat recovery system’ under the Victorian Sustainable Energy Authority’s Business Energy Efficiency Initiative. This new energy-saving technology will help the plant to reduce greenhouse pollution by 1,600 tonnes – the equivalent of removing 370 cars from Victoria’s roads.
The heat recovery system also has the ability to recover some of the evaporated water and re-introduce it back into the process. The estimated recovery rate at the moment is 2.5 mega litres per annum. The heat recovery system also has the potential to save up to eight percent of the site’s natural gas consumption – resulting in energy cost savings of up to $80,000.
“Altona already has big tanks and settlement pits where they collect all the storm water,” Paul said. “We’ve got 100,000 litres of storage space available so when the tanks are full we switch off the town-water and use recycled water instead. This can fulfil up to 10 hours of operational requirements, providing us with up to 10,000 litres of water an hour.
“Potentially we could save up to 30% of our water requirements by a combination of recovered rain water and water recovered from the dryer heat recovery system. This is about 20 mega litres a year.”