Fonterra use of bioenergy takes another step forward

Friday 5 Aug 2022

The announcement that Fonterra is taking another step in its transition to low carbon production with replacement of a coal boiler at its Waitoa site in the Waikato with a 30 MW wood biomass boiler builds on the trend of food processors to adopt bioenergy solutions says the Bioenergy Association.

Brian Cox, executive officer of the Bioenergy Association said that “the use of renewable biomass to replace coal to produce heat arises because of the increased use of forest residues, instead of leaving the residues in the forest to rot. In this investment by Fonterra the supply of biomass from residues as fuel has been facilitated with the entry of Wood Energy New Zealand, as an accredited wood fuel supplier, into the North Island to supply the fuel to Fonterra.

Wood Energy New Zealand, which is a partnership of Pioneer Energy and Niagara Sawmilling, has a strong strength of supplying wood fuel in the South Island. The entry of Wood Energy New Zealand into the North Island heat market will provide encouragement for other heat users to transition from fossil fuels to a biomass fuel.”

Mr Cox said that “With Fonterra making this fourth transition from fossil to biomass fuel for producing heat at its milk processing facilities, they are providing significant leadership and demonstration on how easy it is to move from coal to biomass fuels. Such investments however need to be well planned and undertaken in partnership with their wood fuel suppliers. The transitions cant be done overnight which demonstrates that reduction in our greenhouse gas emissions will take time.”

Mr Cox said that “at the Residues2Revenues 2022 event last week it was outlined that we have the potential for adequate biomass to be available for transitioning from fossil fuels, but heat users and biomass fuel suppliers need to talk together so that each has good information on the demand and supply of bioenergy. The partnership between Fonterra and their fuel supplier, Wood Energy New Zealand, is a good example of that in action.”

Source: BANZ

Note: Details for R2R delegates to download presentations given at last weeks wood residues event were sent out yesterday. These can now be accessed. A full montage of images taken during the event can also be viewed here

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