Australian manufacturer looks to the skies for energy savings

Internationally recognised leather specialist, Packer Leather, partnered with Verdia to install an additional 179kW of solar PV to supply renewable electricity for its Queensland tannery.

The new solar PV system covers two buildings on the tannery site, reducing electricity costs by 12%, saving the family owned business $45,000 each year.

Packer Leather has been a successful Queensland exporter for more than 125 years.  They produce a wide range of performance leathers in kangaroo and cow hide for the athletic, dress and casual footwear, craft and leather goods, sports balls and gloving markets.

Their leather finds its way into Sheerin Australian Rules footballs, Kookaburra cricket balls (including the new pink day/night test match balls), Formula One racing uniforms and protective fire-fighting uniforms. When the world’s leading soccer players took to the field for the recent World Cup, there was a good chance many of their boots were sourced from Packer leather hide.

Recent hikes to Packer’s electricity bills were costing the business an extra $135,000 a year, squeezing margins and impacting their ability to compete with international rivals.

Lindsay Packer, Chairman of Packer Leather, has been championing the need for electricity price relief to keep local manufacturing viable.

Mr Packer said energy services business Verdia was recommended to his business by Westpac as a way to fast-track energy savings and increase his operational efficiency.

“Verdia came in and assessed our operations and reported back on the best ways we could reduce our energy costs and protect us from the volatility of the energy market,” Mr Packer said.

“There was a clear business case that outlined upfront costs, savings over the long term and the pay back for our investment.

“We don’t have energy expertise in house and we don’t have the knowledge to manage the project and guarantee the quality of the installation over its 25-year life.”

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