Established in 1872 in the United States, Kimberly‐Clark is a global health and hygiene company providing quality, affordable and convenient essential products. Operating since 1926 in Australia, Kimberly‐Clark Australia (KCA) markets leading household brands such as Kleenex and Huggies with over 1,200 employees located at fourteen sites across Australia and New Zealand. Recently, Kimberly-Clark has been honoured as an ABA100 Winner for Innovation and Technology in The Australian Business Awards 2014.
Millicent Mill in South Australia accounts for around 90% of KCA’s energy footprint. As a result of rising electricity costs, the projected costs of the carbon tax and the desire to create a more sustainable future, Millicent Mill went in search of a sustainable and feasible solution and in turn have invested over $33 million to make it more energy efficient while reducing emissions. A Cogeneration Plant feasibility study set key objectives to reduced carbon dioxide emissions by up to 80,000 tonnes, implement savings of $8.8 million in the first full year, and set a global Kimberley-Clark energy efficiency benchmark.
“By capturing the waste heat in the exhaust of the gas turbine and using it as a replacement for natural gas in paper drying and steam production, the mill benefits from lower energy consumption, lower energy costs and the overall environmental benefits of reduced carbon dioxide emissions”, said Jacquie Fegent-McGeachie, associate director of corporate affairs and sustainability.
The feasibility study indicated that a cogeneration system in the range of 21 megawatts could effectively support the mill’s electrical, steam and through‐air dryer demands, while providing reduced operating costs. The innovative cogeneration facility started operating in the second half of 2013 and the predicted savings in electricity purchases have been realised.