A CUTTING-EDGE cheese factory that runs entirely on renewable energy is set to go even greener thanks to an electrifying new partnership.
Mona Dairy is a headline sponsor of this week’s Anglesey Show and plans to unveil the UK’s first BEV (Battery Electric Vehicle) tractor and trailer for milk haulage in front of special guests including Ynys Mon MP Virginia Crosbie, and Mark Spencer, Minister of State for Food, Farming and Fisheries of United Kingdom.
The 25,000 sq ft factory on Mona Industrial Park opened this summer and is already undergoing a multi-million pound expansion.
Managing Director Ronald Akkerman says the move will increase their capacity to eventually produce more than 30,000 tons of Welsh and continental cheese every year.
And with their focus firmly on lowering the site’s carbon footprint still further, the switch to electric vehicles for milk collection will help them on the road to achieving net zero status.
“We are proud to have been the first dairy in the UK to introduce the Volvo BEV HGV tractor and trailer combination, it’s the first step towards the complete decarbonisation of our transport,” said Ronald.
“Electric trucks are much quieter for communities, for our drivers and for the farms that we collect milk from, which is especially important for night-time collections.
“The pumping system on our trailer is also electric, allowing for much faster and very quiet loading of milk on farm. The Welsh countryside is a perfect match for a BEV tractor unit, as it will recover a lot of energy from braking and converts it into the electrical power that charges the vehicle’s battery.”
Ynys Mon MP Virginia Crosbie added: “Mona Dairy is one of the most forward-thinking businesses on Anglesey, creating jobs and supporting the local economy while being at the forefront of advances in agriculture and sustainable food production.
“This latest development and move towards decarbonisation of its milk collection fleet is another first for the UK.
“All this fits in with my priorities of attracting investment and jobs to Ynys Mon in these growing and key industries that will be underpinned by the island’s new freeport status.
“I am fully supportive and thankful to Mona Dairy for the innovation shown in working towards net zero status while leading the way for the manufacturing industry in Wales and beyond.”
Speaking on behalf of Volvo and dealership Thomas Hardie Commercials, Key Account Manager David Hill said the truck has a range of 190 miles (300 km) and includes three electric motors, generating 666 HP and has six batteries, containing 540kWh of energy.
He added: “We are delighted to be involved in supplying an FM 4×2 fully electric tractor unit to Mona Dairy to demonstrate a net zero approach to the collection and transportation of milk from farms to the factory for cheese production.
“The vehicle will run for two weeks to prove the concept and results of the trial will enable Mona Dairy to confidently move forwards with the project.”