Image

OneFortyOne’s Kaituna sawmill award winners

25 September 2021

Kaituna Sawmill opened its doors to the New Zealand Minister for Climate Change, the Hon James Shaw, and 50 guests as part of a Cawthron Marlborough Environment Awards field day on 17 August.

The sawmill’s 46 percent reduction in its greenhouse gas emissions over the past 10 years and its reduction of its carbon footprint by 934 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalents per annum were just two of the sustainability achievements which led to it being named as the winner in the forestry category at this year’s awards.

The Cawthron Marlborough Environment Awards are held every two years and attract entries from businesses and community organisations around the region. Category winners share their knowledge and experience through a series of public field days. The Kaituna Sawmill event was the second in the series which runs through until November 2021.

Visitors to the field day listened to OneFortyOne Environmental Planner Kristie Paki Paki as she outlined the background to the sawmill’s award entry, beginning with the sawmill starting to measure emissions 10 years ago.

She described how a substantial NZ$8 million investment in a Polytechnik biomass-fired energy centre in 2017 allows the sawmill to burn wet sawdust to generate energy to dry its timber products. Previously the sawmill spent more than half a million dollars per annum to buy waste oil to use as its fuel source. Using the Polytechnik enery centre has resulted in cost savings, increased productivity and quality improvements, said Paki Paki.

Minister Shaw said that he was surprised to learn how much the sawmill spent on fuel (waste oil) before it bought its Polytechnik system and was very impressed by the efficiency of the whole sawmill operation. “It’s really quite astonishing technology and there’s such a commitment to utilising every part of the resource during the process,” said Shaw. The Minister also commended the use of waste on site. “It’s tremendous waste capture and there is further potential and that’s really exciting because all that waste can be turned into value. Biochar has tremendous carbon capture potential.”

Visitors to the field day were positive about what they saw during their tour. “I was really impressed with the health and safety on site and the efficiency of the operation,” says Forest and Land Use Advisor for Te Uru Rākau, Tamara Orr. Sustainability Manager for White Haven Wines Josh Barclay said that he didn’t expect the scale of the sawmill operation. “It demonstrates the process of continual improvement really well,” said Barclay.

Chair of the Cawthron Marlborough Environment Awards Jo Grigg said that she was struck by how measuring its emissions was the starting point for the sawmill’s journey and hoped other businesses and organisations would be encouraged to do the same.

Awards judge Ket Bradshaw told the gathering that Kaituna Sawmill’s continuous improvement and its genuine desire to reduce emissions was clear in its award entry. “It stood out amongst other forestry entries because of the business’ reach and integration. Keep sharing your stories with neighbours and the public, it’s an important part of your licence to operate.”

General Manager of Kaituna Sawmill Tracy Goss said that the sawmill staff numbers have gone up by 18 percent over the past six months and that it is firmly focused on helping to meet increased demand for timber products within the domestic market. “The majority of our timber products remain within the South Island. 75 percent of our timber products remains within New Zealand,” said Goss.

“While we have a resource consent for half a million log tonnes per annum, we are currently only doing 150,000. Our chip and excess sawdust also represent real opportunities and we are always interested in collaborating to achieve value and reduce waste.”

Minister Shaw commended Goss and his team for their leadership. “If we could transfer this around the rest of the industry and other industries, we would be a long way down the path of reducing emissions,” said Shaw. “We know where we want to be and where we are now but we can’t quite figure out how to get between the two. Kaituna Sawmill and the team show us a pathway.”

Photo: The OneFortyOne Kaituna Sawmill team at their Environment Awards field day (credit: Tim Cuff)

Source: OneFortyOne

Read More
Image

Kea Aerospace achieves milestone in autonomous flight

Kea Aerospace has successfully completed a landmark BVLOS (Beyond Visual Line of Sight) flight, demonstrating the capabilities of their advanced autonomous flight technology. The milestone UAS (Unmanned Aircraft System) flight, conducted within Kea Aerospace’s Special Use Airspace, marks significant growth ...
Read more
Image

€100 m investment in wood-based EV batteries

Stora Enso Oyj is preparing to invest about €100 million in a pioneering project to use wood in electric vehicle batteries and offer an alternative to components currently made in China, according to its chief executive officer. The funds would ...
Read more
Image

First long-range electric trucks to New Zealand

Windrose Technology will work with Auckland based Etrucks® to bring the first long-range electric trucks to New Zealand. The Windrose E1400 6×4 semi tractor features extreme aerodynamic efficiency, with an industry low coefficient of drag of 0.2755. Combined with the ...
Read more
Image

DC Equipment Canada return Madill to B.C.

DC Equipment has announced the opening of its new manufacturing facility in Prince George, marking the return of Madill equipment production to British Columbia. The first machines to be produced at this facility will be the Madill 3000B Log Loaders, ...
Read more
Image

QLD budget weak on future timber material needs for housing

Queensland’s peak body for the forest and timber industry is warning of a looming building materials crisis by a lack of policy and budget measures for increasing future timber supply to help meet the state’s rising housing demand. “While we ...
Read more
Image

Kenworth unveils futuristic SuperTruck 2

Kenworth showcased its SuperTruck 2 demonstrator vehicle at the Advanced Clean Transportation (ACT) Expo in Las Vegas last month, a project developed over six years in collaboration with the US Department of Energy’s (DOE) SuperTruck programme. The aim of the project ...
Read more
Image

Key drivers to decarbonise heavy transport fleets

The industry was buzzing once again for the Wood Transport & Logistics 2024 event that ran last week in Rotorua, New Zealand. Well over 200 forestry and log transport companies from across Australasia, America and Europe, came to Rotorua to ...
Read more
Image

Rocket Lab launches climate science satellites

Rocket Lab, a global leader in launch services and space systems, today launched the first of two back-to-back launches for NASA’s PREFIRE (Polar Radiant Energy in the Far-InfraRed Experiment) climate change-focused mission. ‘Ready, Aim, PREFIRE’ lifted-off from Rocket Lab Launch ...
Read more
Image

Hiringa launches hydrogen refuelling network

Taranaki-based green hydrogen developer Hiringa Energy has marked the opening of New Zealand’s first zero-emission green hydrogen refuelling network set to service heavy freight across the North Island. The initiative is the first of its kind in Australasia and was officially ...
Read more