Talking business with Anthony Haas

Evans …converting effluent to energy


European technology that converts milk and meat processing plant effluent into self- contained waste consuming and energy generating plants is now available in New Zealand.

A Talking Business Grapevine correspondent reported this claim from Napier industrialist Ken Evans to a Greytown woman horticulturalist living next to a cow farm. Evans said the technology allowed milk and meat processing plants to become their own standalone waste treatment units with the added advantage of these plants using the waste so consumed as their own source of energy.


The horticulturalist called on Evans to answer more questions, such as the negative impact of many cows compacting paddocks, the practicalities of big cow sheds, collecting effluent from cows, and more that readers might comment on.

As an example Evans cited large scale milking centres in Europe that were self-sufficient in power simply because all the waste they generated was converted into electricity.
He said that the era in which factories could discharge their waste in any volume or in any proportion into the public domain should have ended many years ago. It was now time to apply a readily available solution, and one widely used internationally, he said

Preventing waste getting into the water system

The problem he said was that there had not been the concerted nationwide will to do something about process waste finding its way into the water system.

The Napier industrialist said this was itself a by-product of uncertainty about the ability of technology to cope with the problem. “You look at the situation today in which vehicles that drive themselves are now on the roads. Yet we still have copious amounts of concentrated waste matter allowed to penetrate the nation’s water system.”

Evans said that waste-to-energy plant technology in primary processing had been allowed to be placed in the “too hard” basket.

He said that the conservation lobby had allowed itself to become over-focused on international issues at the expense of seeking solutions to problems in what he described as the nation’s “back yard.”

Evans said that he would now ensure that milk and meat processors in New Zealand were acquainted with this waste-to-energy solution that was so widely used in Europe. His objective he said was to make New Zealand’s processing plants their own waste consumers, and thus their own energy suppliers.

It was, Evans said, a relatively low cost solution, and one with its own pay-back. “This proven technology was now readily available in New Zealand backed by specialists with the experience to install it”.

At least one neighbouring Greytown horticulturalist, with ties to the conservation lobby, wants to be convinced.


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