New Zealand dairy giant Fonterra has opened Sri Lanka's first solar powered milk chilling centre.

The Hanwella-based facility, which officially opened this week, has been designed to conserve around 22,000 kW per year. The centre, which features 32 solar panels with a 3.24 kW capacity, is one of nine Fonterra chilling centres, located across five districts - Colombo, Nuwara Eliya, Kurunegala, Puttalam and Matale.

Fonterra currently collects milk from a network of 4,000 Sri Lankan dairy farmers for processing into fresh dairy products, under the Anchor Newdale brand.

"We have been collecting fresh milk in Sri Lanka for more than 15 years and we are committed to collecting and processing this fresh milk sustainably," said Leon Clement, MD of Fonterra brands Sri Lanka. "The solar panel installation at our Hanwella chilling centre allows us to conserve energy and minimise our environmental footprint."

Clement added that the group is looking at installing this technology at other chilling centres in the market. 

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FONTERRA OPENS SRI LANKA'S FIRST SOLAR POWERED MILK CHILLING CENTRE IN HANWELLA
Minister of Power and Energy, Hon. Patali Champika Ranawaka officially opened the centre alongside Fonterra at a ceremony today.
Fonterra has today officially opened Sri Lanka's first solar powered milk chilling centre in Hanwella, demonstrating the company's commitment to sustainable milk collection.
Projected to conserve approximately 22,000 kW every year, the centre which features 32 solar panels with a 3.24 kW capacity, was officially declared open by the Minister of Power and Energy, Hon. Patali Champika Ranawaka.
Speaking at the event, Minister Ranawaka said: "I am happy to see that Fonterra is opening Sri Lanka's first solar powered milk chilling centre - it demonstrates a clear commitment by the company to support the Government's drive towards sustainable milk production in the country."
"The Government is focussed on growing the Sri Lankan dairy industry as well as energy sustainability and it is encouraging to see companies like Fonterra investing in modern technology and systems to help conserve energy and further develop milk collection facilities."
The Fonterra Hanwella chilling centre is one of nine Fonterra chilling centres, located across five districts - Colombo, Nuwara Eliya, Kurunegala, Puttalam and Matale.
Managing Director Fonterra Brands Sri Lanka, Leon Clement, said Fonterra is committed to working alongside the Government and investing in new technology to help develop the dairy sector.
"It is an honour to have Minister Ranawaka here today to officially open our fist fully solar powered chilling centre in Hanwella.
"We have been collecting fresh milk in Sri Lanka for more than 15 years and we are committed to collecting and processing this fresh milk sustainably. The solar panel installation at our Hanwella chilling centre allows us to conserve energy and minimise our environmental footprint.
"This is a model project and we are now exploring the possibility of installing this technology across more of our chilling centres across the country," said Mr Clement.
In addition to opening Sri Lanka's first fully solar powered chilling centre in Hanwella, Fonterra has also recently installed a number of energy saving initiatives at its milk processing site in Biyagama which have helped to reduce the site's annual energy consumption by 40 per cent.
Mr Clement added: "These initiatives include installing variable speed drives for powder utility equipment, which consume less energy during operation; fitting sky lights; and installing LED lights, which consume less energy than fluorescent lamps."
Fonterra currently collects milk from a network of 4,000 Sri Lankan dairy farmers for processing into fresh dairy products, under the Anchor Newdale brand.
Mr Clement concluded: "Fonterra plays an important role the Sri Lankan dairy sector, having provided training, support and advice to local dairy farmers for more than a decade. These energy-saving initiatives are in line with our commitment to sustainable milk collection and processing and part of our ongoing investment in the local dairy sector."
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For further information contact:
Nilanga Jayawickreme
GPR Communications Consultancy
nilanga@gpr.lk
0776548886

Original source: Fonterra