Govt partnership to explore sustainable wood products

1 November 2022

A new partnership between the NZ Government and Oji Fibre Solutions could boost the development of sustainable wood products, hydrogen and bio-fuels at the Kinleith Mill near Tokoroa, creating jobs and reducing emissions across the economy Forestry Minister Stuart Nash announced on Thursday.

“This partnership is one of the first tangible actions from the draft Forestry and Wood Processing Industry Transformation Plan I launched in August. A key focus of the Plan is how to add value to the forestry sector by processing logs domestically rather than sending them off-shore for other countries to extract value” Stuart Nash said.

Key points:

  • A joint feasibility study between the New Zealand Forest Service and Oji Fibre Solutions will explore the opportunities to develop the Kinleith Mill to commercially produce wood products such as biofuels – including sustainable aviation fuel – lignin, green hydrogen, bioplastics and fuel pellets.
  • Costs and economic modelling for an upgrade to Kinleith Mill’s energy boilers, known as the ‘Energy Island’ will also be updated as party of the study, along with investigating opportunities for third-party investment into the bioeconomy.
  • Oji Fibre Solutions’ Kinleith site is New Zealand’s largest industrial site, located on 2,400 hectares of land near Tokoroa.
  • The site could also help to spur bio-innovation and entrepreneurship through facilities piloting and commercialising new bio-products.
  • The feasibility study is expected to be completed in early 2023, after which decisions on next steps will be taken.
  • The NZ$2 million study will be funded jointly, with the New Zealand Forest Service contributing up to NZ$1 million.