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Sustainable burger production now and into the future

Delivering 30 tonnes of meat patties a day and increasing production meant ANZCO Foods Waitara needed a sustainable futureproof refrigeration solution fast.

So they called the experts- Excel Engineering. 

ANZCO’s product is distributed to McDonalds Restaurants throughout New Zealand, Fiji and New Caledonia. They’re also a contingency supplier to the chain’s restaurants in Australia and Vietnam. Demand has been growing by 7% every year so ANZCO needed a sustainable way to keep delivering. 

That’s why they undertook a significant ammonia-based refrigeration plant upgrade, said Bennie Prinsloo, ANZCO Engineering Manager.

 “We needed to support the growth of the business and the growth of the customer… we had to go to mechanical freezing and we opted for ammonia.” Their existing model relied on transporting liquid nitrogen (LN2)  from Auckland to Taranaki each day. The LN2 was used to keep the patty product at food safe frozen temperatures. It was costly, and created a large carbon footprint.

For their new solution, ANZCO selected a Scanico spiral coil industrial freezer system that utilised energy-efficient ammonia. Excel Engineering installed added MYCOM compressors, and a new ultra-low pot running at -54˚C. These improvements greatly reduced the onsite carbon footprint. 

It was an exciting upgrade to be part of, said Stephen Frowde, Excel Engineering project manager. “We put in quite a lot of new technology and added some improvements to the existing plant to make it more efficient.” 

To minimise on-site personnel, the team utilised 3D models and virtual reality goggles to confirm functional design. “We were able to actually go to that site once the virtual plant room was built and look through our virtual model to make sure that there were no clashes on site and the plant fits and works well in the actual space. It’s a great way to pre-design and de-risk projects,” Stephen explained. “It’s also a great way to bring expertise to problems without having to drive them to the site.” 

Excel Engineering and ANZCO both committed to utilising local suppliers, manufacturers and contractors, Bennie said. The Taranaki-based companies needed to work together to create an internal tunnel and connecting pipework to overcome supply challenges created by the pandemic. “We had three mechanical companies supporting us and they worked as if they had come in from one company.” 

Excel was delighted to see ANZCO utilising local resources first, Stephen said. “We, in turn, supported all local contractors for our work. It was a really enjoyable project to be part of and it’s been really successful for the client. They’ve got good and reliable product coming out of the freezers and the site has capacity for growth. 

“We’re really proud of what we’ve delivered here.” 


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