Image

Another major switch to wood biomass

25 August 2021

As Minister for Energy and Resources Hon Dr Megan Woods officially opened Fonterra’s wood pellet boiler at its Te Awamutu plant, the Co-operative announced details for its next site to exit coal – Stirling cheese plant in Otago.

Otago’s ‘fantastic little cheese plant’, will be coal free and using wood biomass to fire the site by August next year. This will make Stirling Fonterra’s first 100% renewable thermal energy site, a significant step towards the Co-op’s goal of getting out of coal all together by 2037. By switching to wood biomass, the site’s annual emissions will reduce by 18,500 tonnes of CO2 – the equivalent of taking more than 7,000 cars off the road.

Fonterra General Manager Operations Lower South Island, Richard Gray says it’s another huge decarbonisation milestone for the Co-op. “Sustainability is at the heart of our strategy, and this project is something that will be good for the environment and local community.”

“As well as the site being coal free there are additional environmental benefits the new boiler will bring, including reduction in wastewater, noise, solid waste to landfill and air discharge emissions. There are also economic benefits for the community – the installation will contribute more than $10 million into the region, along with supporting an estimated 10 jobs in the wood biomass industry.”

The wood biomass will be sourced Pioneer Energy who are locally owned by Central Lakes Trust. The Trust distributes grants to charitable causes in the Central Otago region. Pioneer Energy CEO, Fraser Jonker says “Pioneer Energy is very proud to be involved with, and to support, Fonterra’s move across from coal to biomass at their facility in Stirling.

“Pioneer Energy has a proven record for the installation of new, and conversion of existing, boilers to biomass, and with our own wood fuel division assuring quality and security of local supply for the fuel, have mitigated any perceived risk of making this very important transition to a low carbon future.”

Stirling is the third significant fuel switching project the Co-op has undertaken in as many years. The conversion of Fonterra’s Te Awamutu site to wood pellets has resulted in a 10% reduction in the Co-op’s coal use, and at Brightwater at the top of the South Island, the team is co-firing wood biomass.

These three projects, when combined with other energy efficiency work, will reduce the Co-op’s emissions by 135,000 tonnes, the equivalent of taking close to 52,000 cars off the road. With this latest announcement, eight out of Fonterra’s 29 sites remain to be removed from using coal.

Source: Stuff

Read More
Image

FIEA wood residues conference: time for action

Low carbon economies, extreme weather events, and building resilient domestic supply chains are critical issues in 2024 and beyond. In New Zealand, this has created opportunities for the forestry sector, including significant investments in forest residues. Harvesting regulations are mandating more wood be collected from the forest ...
Read more
Image

Successful trials of remote-controlled wood chip scraper

Nippon Paper, trucking company Iwakuni Sangyo Unyu successfully trial remote-controlled robot that scrapes wood chips in hold of wood-chip carrier at Iwakuni mill; scraping robot aims to address safety, workforce shortage in wood-chip scraping operations Through the development of the ...
Read more
Image

When it all falls down

This video tells the story of how New Zealand Forest Managers (NZFM) in Turangi, New Zealand dealt with a 3.4million + ton wind blow event in the central north island. In the video everything from before the cyclone in Feb ...
Read more
Image

NZ$300 million torrefied wood pellet planned

Plans to build New Zealand’s first plant to produce low emissions fossil free fuel to replace coal have moved a step closer with the signing of an agreement to lease a site at Kawerau. Australian listed company Foresta has announced the signing of ...
Read more
Image

Blenheim company turning wood chips into graphite

In New Zealand, a Blenheim company is turning wood chips and sawdust into graphite to be used in EV batteries. CarbonScape was founded in 2006 – with a focus on making carbon products using waste biomass like wood chips to ...
Read more
Image

Cheese from trees: Fonterra running on wood biomass

Fonterra’s Stirling manufacturing site is celebrating becoming the Co-op’s first manufacturing site in the South Island to get off coal and the first site to be running on 100% renewable thermal energy.  Moving to wood biomass means a reduction of 18,500 tonnes ...
Read more
Image

99% of Northland’s energy could be met through biomass

A new report, published by EECA (the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority), shows the significant role currently unutilised, forestry residues could play – as the region reduces its reliance on fossil fuels in favour of renewable energy. Up to 99% of Northland’s ...
Read more
Image

NZ forestry industry establishing pan sector body

Ten organisations have signed an accord establishing as a pan sector body. Called the NZ Forest & Wood Sector Forum (NZFWSF), NZ sector associations will engage on issues of common interest or concern to the national industry and act as a ...
Read more
Image

Wood biomass boiler swings into action

Fonterra’s NZ Waitoa manufacturing site is now using around 50% less coal as its new wood biomass boiler swings into action. Waitoa is the third Fonterra manufacturing site to reduce coal in 2023, as part of the Co-op’s plan to ...
Read more