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Resource efficiency a burning opportunity

A pyrethrum producer and a carpet manufacturer based on Tasmania’s North West Coast have been congratulated for their latest bids to boost energy efficiency.

The Minister for Environment, Parks, Heritage and the Arts, Michelle O’Byrne, said the Ulverstone facility of Botanical Resources Australia (BRA) and Devonport’s Tascot factory have successfully completed projects sponsored by the State Government’s CleanBiz program.

"Grants offered by CleanBiz help enterprises reduce operating costs and environmental impacts," Ms O’Byrne said.

"BRA’s ,000 grant contributed to the installation of a new bio-fuel burner which uses high a proportion of the pyrethrum by-product raffinate to supplement petroleum-based heating oil.

"The use of a potential waste product to assist the extraction and refining process significantly cuts the company’s reliance on fossil fuels."

BRA’s excess raffinate is also being used by another company to heat a plant hot-house.

Ms O’Byrne said Tascot used its ,000 grant to improve the efficiency of heat transfer around its two largest dye vats.

The heating time of the vats has been cut by 60 percent providing natural gas savings and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Ms O’Byrne said the CleanBiz program’s facilitation process helped Tascot focus on potential energy efficiency projects and highlighted a short pay-back on investment for the project.

"The dye vat initiative is the latest addition to Tascot’s energy reduction strategy which includes a commitment to reduce reliance on the use of fossil fuels," she said.

"In 1997 the company converted its oil-fired boilers to liquid petroleum gas (LPG), then to natural gas in 2007."

Ms O’Byrne said BRA and Tascot are contributing to annual cost savings of about ,000 expected from the first 18 companies to have participated in the CleanBiz program.

"These companies are expected to reduce their energy use by at least 15,000 gigajoules per year. They will also reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by an estimated 12,000 tonnes annually," she said.