Chicken farm improves environmental foot print



Hazeldene’s Chicken Farm was recently awarded a $2 million grant from the State Government’s Regional Growth Fund to help improve their facilities.


The company is to invest $8.7 million to install a 7km water pipeline, a gas fired co-generation plant and an anaerobic sludge digester for a waste treatment facility.


Hazeldene’s managing director John Hazeldene said the investment by the government helped secure the company’s energy and water infrastructure at their main Lockwood farming and production site.


“Our current water supply connection to the Coliban system is inadequate for our needs,” Mr Hazeldene said.


“During the hot summer months there is lack of water volume and pressure and we risk not being able to supply water to our two million chickens in our Lockwood Farms and Lockwood production plant.”


This investment will reduce the ecological impact of the company and improve efficiency.


“The combined cogeneration and anaerobic sludge digestion investment will reduce our solid waste by 60 per cent and green house gas emissions by 33 per cent.”


Since 1985 Hazeldene’s has grown from processing 8,500 meat chickens a week to more than 500,000. Over the last three years, the business has increased employment from 482 staff to 625 and by 2013, employment growth is expected to be over 8 per cent.


In March this year a new $20 million primary processing plant will be commissioned and a major upgrade to the production and processing plant is expected by 2015.


The company copped a hit in January 2011 when flood water ripped through their Priarie complex drowning 300,000 chickens and causing damage in excess of $2 million.


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