Image

NZ$300 million torrefied wood pellet planned

17 April 2024

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 a 30-year lease (with a 20 year right of renewal) on a 9.6 ha property in Kawerau with local iwi owned Putauaki Trust.

Foresta plans to invest some NZ$300 million building the plant which at full production will employ more than 100 workers.

“There’s a huge opportunity in New Zealand for our world leading low emissions technology and today we’ve taken a major step forward in our plans,” said Foresta Chairman Henry Cheng. “We’re very excited to play our part in building a greener, more sustainable future for New Zealand by producing our unique low impact torrefied wood pellets.”

The site chosen for the plant is in an industrial zone developed by Putauaki Trust with the support of the Provincial Growth Fund which funded significant roading and other infrastructure improvements.

Foresta is currently negotiating supply agreements with owners of sustainably managed pine plantations. In December, Foresta signed a 10-year agreement with South Island energy distribution company Tailored Energy & Resources Ltd (TERL) to supply 65,000 tonnes of pellets annually to its industrial customers.

The production process produces torrefied “black” wood pellets – involving heating the wood pellets to between 200 and 300 deg C, in the absence of oxygen. A recent Genesis trial at Huntly power station using similar pellets reduced emissions by at least 90%.

New Zealand currently consumes around two million tonnes of coal per annum for industrial processes, electricity generation and commercial heating. Just seven million tonnes of pine feedstock would be used to produce two million tonnes of black wood pellets, which can directly replace the country’s annual coal consumption.

“The fuel could potentially reduce New Zealand’s total annual gross greenhouse gas emissions by 5% while adding 20% value to the country’s forest revenues.” Foresta further adds value by using the underutilised stumps and tops of the trees.

“Today marks a major step forward for Foresta and underlines our commitment to helping New Zealand build a more sustainable and environmentally friendly chemical and energy industry,” said Henry Cheng.

More >>

Source: Foresta

Read More
Image

Earlybird rates end TODAY

Earlybird rates end this Friday for Environmental Forestry Conference On 25-26 June, ourFIEA Annual Environmental Forestry Conference is running. Registrations are going very well. We bring practical foresters together with local regulators and national policy-makers to debate and bring constructive ...
Read more
Image

Decarbonising transport & logistics

New Zealand environmental specialist, Toitū, recently held a panel to discuss how New Zealand’s transportation and logistics industry, the nation’s second-largest emissions source, can take effective climate action. They shed light on the critical pressures facing supply chains and how to respond ...
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

Calling all NZ loader operators – be part of this study

Driven by mechanisation, traditional career pathways in forestry crews are evolving. As part of the Primary Growth Partnership (PGP) programme, ‘Te Mahi Ngahere i te Ao Hurihuri – Forestry Work in the Modern Age’, the Scion Human Factors research group ...
Read more
Image

Kiwi bird surprises at Rosvall Sawmill

Workers at Rosvall Sawmill near Whangārei, New Zealand, had an unexpected visitor, a fully grown kiwi bird. The bird casually strolled into the mill early one Monday morning, and spent a few hours exploring the premises before it found a ...
Read more
Image

Every second counts

During hot and dry periods, there is a serious risk of wildfires. Moreover, a single spark can be enough to start one, in which case every second counts. Having fire extinguishing equipment close at hand can make all the difference ...
Read more
Image

Superhuman AI – smarter than every human by 2025

Billionaire tech boss Elon Musk has recently predicted that superhuman artificial intelligence (AI), surpassing human intellect, could become a reality as soon as next year. If this kind of prediction becomes true, are humans ready to embrace that machines can ...
Read more
Image

Swiss develop drone to explore forest canopy

Inspired by cockroaches, Swiss researchers have developed a new drone which can push away obstacles and move past them. In the future, it will be used to measure biodiversity in remote areas. Environmental monitoring in areas with dense vegetation is ...
Read more
Image

NZ forestry H&S statistics updated – March 2024

Safetree NZ has released their H&S stats dashboard for March 2024. WorkSafe provides statistics on forestry fatalities and workplace incidents. These investigations help inform us of any key issues or trends as they come to light. Overall, there is a downward trend ...
Read more