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.