Firm joins push for biofuels

Date published: July 26, 2013 at 9:24 am | Comments

Kawerau’s Norske Skog is to join the Government in investigating opportunities in producing biofuels from forestry waste.

Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce and Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy yesterday announced the formation of the Primary Growth Partnership with funding of $6.75 million to investigate producing biofuels from forestry waste.

The “Stump to Pump” Primary Growth Partnership programme partners are Norske Skog, Z Energy and the Government.

The Government will match their partners $6.75 million funding to bring the project’s total funding to $13.5 million.

“This is an exciting announcement as this partnership between the Government and industry has the potential to make an important economic and environmental contribution to New Zealand,” Mr Joyce said.

“If the technology can be proven and commercialised, the economic benefit for New Zealand over the next 20 to 25 years is estimated at an annual increase in GDP of up to $1 billion and the creation of 1200 direct jobs in regional economies.”

In the next 14 months, Stump to Pump will investigate the commercial viability of converting forestry waste, including sawdust, bark and harvest residue, into liquid biofuels. If this waste material could be used commercially it would maximise the value of every harvested tree.

Mr Guy said the programme could be a “game-changer” for New Zealand and could also reduce the industry’s dependency on imported fuel.

“These investments in productivity will play a big part in achieving the Government’s goal of doubling primary exports by 2025,” he said.

Mr Joyce said the investment would provide a significant boost for both Kawerau and the Eastern Bay of Plenty and was an opportunity to develop its natural resources and assets, allowing for job creation and growth.

“Science and innovation are key drivers of international competitiveness, job creation and economic growth – particularly for our regional economies.”

 

Source: Rotorua Daily Post