CASE STUDY | Boiler Fuel Conversion

Open Country is a global exporter of high-quality dairy products. They specialise in the production of milk powders, cheese, and other dairy ingredients. Open Country products are used in a variety of applications, including infant formula, nutritional products, and food manufacturing.


The coal boilers at Open Country’s Waharoa Plant were due for conversion from coal to wood pellets to reduce the company’s carbon footprint and operational costs longer term.

Co-funding was available via the New Zealand Government if the work was done to specific standards and within a specific timeframe.

It was essential the conversion process didn’t interrupt the company’s production schedule or operational efficiency.

Open Country learned that we had project engineering capability in our team, so we seconded an engineer to work under one of their project managers to be an extra pair of eyes and ears on-site, coordinating contractors and supporting them with the conversion.

Open Country Dairy Waharoa Plant


Caliber Design successfully helped Open Country achieve their goals for the boiler conversion project from coal to wood pellets.

We provided mechanical design and project engineering expertise to ensure the project was completed within the allocated time and budget.

Our team worked closely with Open Country to guarantee that the conversion was done without interrupting the company’s production schedule, and that operational efficiency was maintained throughout the process.

The conversion enabled Open Country to leverage co-funding opportunities for renewable energy. They are now reaping the benefits of using wood pellets instead of coal; lower operational costs and reduced carbon footprint.

Open Country logo

I was happy with Brad’s contribution to the projecthe handled contractors well to ensure the project ran smoothly, and resolved issues effectively when they popped up. We’re new to working with Caliber, but have been impressed so far and would use them again for future projects.

Daniel Pereira

Energy Projects Engineer, Open Country