Synlait Milk Ltd. Commissions New Zealand’s First Large Scale Electrode Boiler

Synlait Milk Limited (ASX: SM1), a producer of an array of nutritional milk products, notified the market on 26 March 2019, that New Zealand’s first large-scale electrode boiler, located at its Dunsandel site in Canterbury, is fully commissioned and has been operating for 2 months now.

Mr Leon Clement, CEO, SM1 stated that it was an exciting time for the company. The switching on of New Zealand’s first large-scale electrode boiler, was a significant milestone related to the reduction of its energy footprint, which formed a part of the company’s sustainability commitments.

The electrode boiler is 7 metres tall and has a diameter of 2.7 metres. It offers renewable process heat to SM1’s advanced dairy liquids facility. The boiler utilizes electrodes that are immersed in water. Electricity flows via electrodes to contact with water, which vaporises into steam and create renewable process heat. The steam rising from the boiler is supposed to be utilized for pasteurising and sterilising milk, in cleaning production lines etc. The capacity of the electrode boiler, in the beginning, would be 6 megawatts. Recent upgrades to the local Dunsandel electricity network is expected to raise the capacity of the electrode boiler up to 12 megawatts.

Director Operations, Mr Neil Betteridge, SM1 said that it was the combined team effort to bring the electrode boiler to life. The company was grateful to Energy Plant Solutions, the industrial heat and boiler experts, who were indulged in the designing, construction and installation of the electrode boiler system. The company was also thankful to Babbage consultants who provided project management expertise, the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority who aided the project financially via Technology Demonstration programme, and Orion who did the delivery of infrastructure upgrades to the Dunsandel electricity network to provide the necessary power for the electrode boiler.

SM1’s Director Sustainability and Brand, Mr Hamish Reid stated that the company had reviewed various other options to fuel process heat, including diesel, gas etc. The electrode boiler came out as the best option among them, although the operating costs are approximately double for a one-decade time frame. It has an efficiency of 99%, around 30% more efficient than coal burners. The emission impact due to this new boiler is commissioning is equivalent to removing 5,300 cars from the roads.

Recently, the company had released its half-yearly report ending 31 January 2019. The company’s HY19 NPAT stood at $37.3 million and is 9.7% lower than the $41.3 million in HY18. On 31 January 2019, the Earnings before net finance costs and income tax stood at $ 56,454,000 vs. $ 62,077,000 in the previous corresponding period (pcp). The Cash and cash equivalents on 31 January 2019 stood at $ 13,493,000 vs. $ 88,878,000 in pcp.

The stock of the company closed at A$10.370 (As on 26 March 2019), up by 1.27% from its previous close. The company has a market capitalization of around A$1.84 billion with circa 179.22 million shares outstanding. The stock has given a yield of 21.33 % in the last 3 months and 27.68 % during last year.


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