Fonterra examines solar options for Stanhope factory

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The Stanhope Fonterra factory may get an energy efficiency upgrade with a new solar plant.

The prospect was mentioned at a recent industry professionals breakfast at Moama.

Fonterra Australia managing director Rene Dedoncker said the company was looking at alternative energy sources for all its factories.

He said Stanhope was well placed to get the best because of northern Victoria’s exposure to sun hours.

Capital expenditure had been approved for the company’s Darnum factory as a test site.

“That installation is taking place now,” Mr Dedoncker said.

“If it goes well the next place would be here (Stanhope).”

However, Mr Dedoncker said there were a few questions the trial would need to answer before it could move to the next installation.

Fonterra is also looking at introducing a new processing system at Stanhope that would allow the company to deliver fresh mozzarella for pizza making, instead of frozen.

The conventional way of handing the cheese involves freezing and thawing, but Fonterra is looking at how it can deliver fresh mozzarella in a tighter supply chain process.

The new supply chain would create savings in warehouse and energy costs.

The Fonterra breakfast heard that Stanhope was now handling a significant amount of new milk, so it didn’t have to rely on milk transferred from Gippsland and western Victoria.