The First Milk Cheese Company’s Haverfordwest creamery has fitted the Maxsys Fuel energy saving systems to its three oil fired steam-raising boilers resulting in an impressive 7.5% fuel consumption saving and a return-on-investment in less than one year. First Milk is the UK’s largest dairy farming co-operative. The £500 million turnover business has three operating divisions: Milk, Cheese and Ingredients.
The First Milk Cheese Company is the largest UK-based cheese supplier with a 35% share of the Cheddar market. The First Milk ethos is to combine the integrity of traditional British dairy farming with the commercial vision and strength necessary to compete in an industry with changing consumer demands, increased international competition and a competitive retail market. “We are always looking for ways to improve the efficiency of our operations,” explains General Manager Paul Rowe. “With ever increasing energy costs to satisfy the demand for process steam we looked at installing fuel saving technology at the site.”
The Haverfordwest creamery has been operational since 1930 and began cheese production in the 1960s. Currently the site manufactures over 20,000 tonnes of cheese for a number of major retail customers in addition to 35,000 tonnes of whey products. Following a site survey by Maxsys and subsequent receipt of a proposal, the company looked at the advantages of fitting the Fuel energy saving systems to its three heavy fuel oil fired steam-raising boilers at Haverfordwest. “We looked at the proposal from Maxsys in further detail, and following visits to a number of existing Maxsys users it became apparent that other companies were seeing major benefits.” The Haverfordwest creamery houses one Ruston Thermax boilers (rated at 25,000lb/hr) and two fully packaged Byworth YSZ11250 boilers (rated at 25,000lb/hr).
All three are fired on heavy fuel oil. The plant operates 24/7 with all of the boilers on-line to cover periods of high demand. Maxsys supplied and fitted three bespoke Fuel Systems to each of the boilers. Fuel metering was already in place but water meters required installing prior to the project commencing. ABB, (world leaders in energy management, acting as the independent verifiers) produced a test protocol for the assessment of the boiler plant performance with and without the Fuel technology in place. The protocol was agreed and signed off by First Milk, Maxsys and ABB. Fuel meter readings were gathered three times a day by First Milk for the duration of the project. ABB based their evaluation on the established CUSUM statistical model with regenerative analysis. The results identified that average oil consumption was 7.5% lower than predicted when the Fuel Systems were installed. “
The project was put together on the basis that it would provide a significant return on the capital invested and in fact the project paid back in just under a year,” says Paul Rowe. “Maxsys guaranteed that First Milk would save a minimum of 5% on our fuel spend, so naturally we are delighted with the actual result of 7.5% and it fully justifies the decision we made to ask Maxsys to work with us. The dairy industry is extremely competitive and it’s crucial that we invest in the latest technology to maintain our leading position. First Milk are also clearly leading the way with investments to reduce energy and CO2 emissions. We have our own environmental targets to meet and this project has provided a significant boost.”
Paul Finnegan, Commercial Director of Maxsys believes that the impact of energy prices means that the food and drink sector knows that it needs to continue to be proactive about energy management. “It was a pleasure working with the team at Haverfordwest as they were clearly committed to improving energy efficiency and reducing their CO2 emissions.” “The food and drink sector as a whole accounts for roughly seven million tonnes of carbon emissions per year and the sector and is undergoing ever-increasing pressure to significantly improve its environmental performance. Our business model gives the sector a unique means of significantly reducing its energy bills and our independently verified industry savings of over £460,000 in cash and a reduction of 4,800 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions demonstrate the significant contribution we are making to the food and drink industry”.