Victoria Deputy Premier Peter Ryan
Victoria Minister for Regional and Rural Development Peter Ryan
Regional Growth Fund Expands Business, Reduces Emissions
Victor P Taffa
Murray Goulburn-Devondale (MG) will increase production by 100 Million litres a year at its Leongatha facility, while cutting its carbon emissions by 31,000 tonnes annually, thanks in part to a $1.5 Million investment from the Regional Growth Fund.
Deputy Premier, Minister for Regional and Rural Development and Gippsland South MP Peter Ryan also opened two other important projects at MG’s Leongatha site today.
Mr. Ryan today announced MG would embark on a $22 Million project to upgrade energy infrastructure and gas supply at the Leongatha site, which includes a $1.5 Million grant from the Regional Growth Fund.
“This project is critical to helping secure a reliable supply of steam to provide energy, and will underpin MG’s plans to increase UHT capacity at the plant.” Mr. Ryan said.
“The expansion means more regional exports, and helps to secure jobs at the plant.”
“The energy switch from coal to gas will save the company money and reduce its carbon emissions by 43 %, or 31,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide a year at the Leongatha site.”
“The Victorian Coalition Government supports action by MG to ensure its energy needs are sustainable and able to provide for the company’s major expansion plans.”
“The project will strengthen the economic base of regional Victoria by upgrading and providing gas infrastructure that will benefit the broader community.”
MG Chairman Phillip Tracey said the Regional Growth Fund support to upgrade the natural gas supply network was critical to MG being able to use natural gas.
“It is also critical infrastructure needed to allow MG to expand our UHT capacity at Leongatha by up to an additional 100 Million litres.” Mr. Tracey said.
“By expanding our UHT capacity, MG is able to improve the international competitiveness of our Leongatha site.”
MG is also seeking support from the Commonwealth Government for this major infrastructure project.
Mr. Ryan said securing the future of the MG Leongatha plant was also critical to the regions dairy supply chain, with 385 local farms supplying milk to the plant.
“The gas infrastructure upgrade will benefit gas consumers in Leongatha and has the potential to support further industry investment, specifically through the provision of upgraded city gates, 26 connection points and seven kilometres of pipeline.” Mr. Ryan said.
“The $1 Billion Regional Growth Fund invests strategically in regional and rural projects to drive jobs, investment and growth in country Victoria.”
“As of July 31, 2013, the RGF had provided $9.1 Million to 26 projects worth $33.2 Million in South Gippsland.”
While at MG’s Leongatha plant, Mr. Ryan also officially opened two other recently completed MG projects funded by Regional Development Victoria.
Mr. Ryan opened the $13.5 Million dollar Leongatha Water Recycling Project, to which Regional Development Victoria had invested $2 Million and the Department of Environment and Primary Industries had invested $2 Million.
The project involved the installation of plant and equipment to recycle, treat and reuse water at the MG dairy processing plant in Leongatha.
“The project reduced MG’s reliance and demand on town water and reduced the amount and load of wastewater being discharged from the plant to the Leongatha Waste Water Treatment Plant.” Mr. Ryan said.
“This project delivered MG water savings of 390 ML in 2010/11 and 404 ML in 2011/12, an excellent result.”
The $5.6 Million Leongatha Water and Energy Project was also opened by Mr Ryan.
Regional Development Victoria had invested $1.57 Million into the project, which saw a steam turbine installed at the plant to generate electricity.
“Since the turbine became operational the Cooperative has been able to save about $80,000 in energy bills and also cut carbon emissions by 1,200 tonnes.” Mr. Ryan said.
“This is a win-win for the Cooperative and the environment.”
The three MG projects are worth a total of $41.1 Million, with Victorian Government contributions of $7 Million.