Major Victorian meat processor undertakes energy audit

Wednesday, 07 March, 2018 | Supplied by: Deakin University

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With rising energy bills an issue for all businesses, one of south-west Victoria’s biggest employers is taking steps towards reducing its energy costs.

Meat processor Midfield Group, whose energy costs have almost doubled in recent years, will work with Deakin University researchers to review its energy consumption and identify areas for improvement. Funded by Meat & Livestock Australia, Midfield Group Project Officer Kevin Banner said the project will go beyond a traditional energy audit.

“We’re tracing all volumes of energy and doing individual metering in our separate departments to drill down further than simply interpreting a power bill,” Banner said.

“It’s critical that we understand in detail what our energy costs are and be mindful of opportunities to make improvements.

“This Deakin audit and reporting will tell us in detail where and how we use our energy and we can then review that and do business cases on all opportunities.”

Postdoctoral researcher Dr Mahbub Rabbani, from Deakin’s Faculty of Science, Engineering and Built Environment, will lead the study from the city of Warrnambool, where Midfield Group is based. Dr Rabbani has expertise in energy efficiency and will work with other research colleagues within Deakin’s renewable energy department.

Banner said Midfield Group had looked at other consulting options for the project, but Deakin had all the capabilities. “We not only have Dr Rabbani’s expertise, we can call on Deakin’s broad set of skills within the university’s water, electrical and engineering departments,” he said.

Deakin Warrnambool Director Alistair McCosh said the university aims to increase the number of postdoctoral research collaborations in the south-west and will explore further opportunities for industry collaboration in the region.

“This is an excellent opportunity to bring Deakin’s broader research expertise to the region to support industry and business to build their capability and capacity,” McCosh said.

“We can also use postgraduate researchers as part of their PhDs in a range of opportunities to make a real difference for local industries.”

Image credit: ©vipavlenkoff/Dollar Photo Club

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