Friday Offcuts – 9 September 2023

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The operational and commercial trials of electric, hydrogen and dual fuel heavy transport operations continue apace as local companies are looking to de-carbonise their fleets. The mining industry in Australia, when it comes to the development or adoption of new transport technologies, has always been at the forefront of new innovation. Other heavy transport operations tend to follow. We cover this week some recent developments that the iron ore and green energy giant, Fortescue Metals, have been making.

The company’s currently testing a 240-tonne electric mining haul truck. It’s been developed in conjunction with Liebherr. They’re also now commissioning a prototype 3MW fast-charger to re-charge the giant truck. Just to put the size of these electric trucks, batteries and fast chargers into perspective, electric passenger cars generally weigh one to two tonnes, batteries range from 50kWh to 100kWh in capacity, and generally plug into 50kw to 350kw fast chargers. This new mining truck, dubbed the Road Runner, has a 1.4MWh battery, which itself weighs 15 tonnes.

At the same time, hydrogen fuel cell trucks at the mine are being tested by the company along with their “infinity train” that’s enabling the recharging of the train’s electric batteries as it moves between the mines and the port. In line with these innovations, a Hydrogen Vehicle Refuelling Infrastructure report has just been produced to help boost the uptake and use of hydrogen-powered vehicles by Australia’s long-haul travel and freight transport, It highlights opportunities and challenges for deploying refuelling stations for hydrogen-powered road vehicles across Australia. A link to the full report is contained in this week’s story.

And as we approach our summer fire season, we’ve built in an interesting story on the rigors, for those involved in fighting bush or forest fires every summer. The flame- resistant overalls being used on the front line are compared to the coveted yellow jersey worn by the race leader in the Tour de France. Rightly so as recent research shows, the demands on the bodies of our firefighters can rival that of the cyclists in the Tour de France. The average total energy expenditure for those working in a fire crew can approach 4 to 5,000 calories per day. However, unlike the cycle race that runs over 22 days, the fire season in regions like the western United States can last up to five months or more. Most crews are accumulating four to five times the number of days of the Tour de France.

And finally, for the Kiwis, the aftermath of recent cyclones and devastation wrought on the communities across the East Coast of the North Island have been well documented. The NZ Government in early August announced that they’d be backing a comprehensive package of actions around land use in Tairāwhiti/Gisborne and Wairoa. If you’re in forestry and you’ve been looking for that one resource that can explain the history of forest clearing in these regions (the conversion from forests to farming, the resultant erosion that occurred on these unstable soils - and on a grand scale - and then the reforestation efforts made to arrest hillsides heading out to the coast), then maybe this 42-year-old film that one of our readers unearthed recently may just fit that bill. Check out The Trees Come Back story this week. Enjoy. And that’s it for this week.

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PF Olsen NZ Log Market Report – August 2023

Market Summary

The PF Olsen Log Price Index increased $6 in August to $114. The index is currently $5 below the two-year and $8 below the five-year average.

AWG prices increased an average of $15 due to the higher CFR sale prices in China. The positive impact of higher log prices was reduced slightly by increased shipping costs, while the exchange rate had little impact. CFR Log prices in China have increased but the market is still fragile. Inventory of New Zealand pine in China is stable and log demand is typical for this time of the year. Global pulp inventory levels are at record highs with very low demand.

The domestic market remains subdued.

Domestic Log Market

Rising costs continue to cause significant issues in the construction industry. The Master Builders Association of NZ recently undertook a survey of 1,000 sector participants and 88% said that rising costs was their biggest problem. Many projects are being delayed due to uncertain budgets. New Zealand also tends to go into a holding pattern before a general election.

Record high pulp inventory levels Total global chemical market pulp producer inventory volumes have reached a record high, with bleached softwood kraft (BSK), which includes paper grade and fluff pulp, more pronounced than bleached hardwood kraft (BHK).

The (BHK) producer inventory volume reading is below the the historical peak in mid-2019, while BSK inventory volumes continue to set new record highs each month. This excess inventory is expected to persist as demand remains low and new supply enters the market.

Export Log Market AWG prices


China radiata log inventory has remained at around 2.7 m3. Daily port off-take has reduced slightly but remains steady ranging between 60-70k m3 per day, which is in the normal range for this time of the year in China. Macro-economic indicators from China continue to worsen which indicates the demand for logs in China will not increase as it usually does when China enters its normally busiest construction time of the year.

The China Caixin Manufacturing PMI continued to fall from 50.5 in June to 49.2 in July. Manufacturing conditions picked up for the second month in a row, but at slower levels then in May. Any PMI number above 50 signals manufacturing growth. This was its lowest reading in six months and the first drop in factory activity since April. New orders dropped after growing in the prior two months while foreign sales contracted the most since September 2022. Buying levels decreased for the first time since January.

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Scott Downs, Director Sales & Marketing, PF Olsen Ltd

Source: PF Olsen

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Tasman region forestry study important for the industry

A seven-year forestry study looking at the impact of sediment in rivers from harvesting and earthworks has entered its fifth year. The NZ$2.7 million study is jointly funded by Ministry for Primary Industries through its Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures fund and OneFortyOne New Zealand Forests. The work is being done in two forested catchments located in OneFortyOne’s Donald Creek Forest near Tadmor in the Tasman district, New Zealand.

Jo Field, OneFortyOne’s Environment Manager, said the study compares sediment from a harvested area with a non-harvested area, exploring the effectiveness of forestry erosion sediment control measures as well as looking at opportunities to improve practice. The study is being conducted in two forested catchments located in OneFortyOne’s Donald Creek Forest near Tadmor in the Tasman district. The comparative catchments are adjoining and of similar size, area, geology and topography, and planted in Pinus radiata of similar age.

“Before the study started, we researched suitable locations, and we landed on Donald Creek as it represents the soil type found in a significant portion of our forests the region.” Jo says. The long-term study works with Moutere gravels, which is a relatively stable soil type with a high clay content.

The sediment control practices focus on reducing sediment into streams from disturbed ground (through earthworks and harvesting) as well as measuring water turbidity, the amount of fine sediment on and in the streambeds, and collecting stream habitat, algae cover, invertebrate, and fish data.

Most sediment will be ‘delivered’ during storms, so the focus of the project is on collecting good-quality, storm-related suspended sediment data from the pre-harvest to the post-harvest period. The project will quantify how much sediment can be prevented from leaving a harvesting site using sediment control practices.

“The current phase of the study is measuring post-harvest sediment load changes and impacts using current best practice sediment control techniques, alongside freshwater monitoring data collected throughout the study,” Jo said. “This year we reached a significant milestone for the project. We were able to analyse and compare the data from a catchment that has been recently harvested with data from the control (unharvested) catchment.

Interim results show that sediment loads are higher in the post-harvest catchment than in the control catchment. This is expected for the post-harvest area as there are extensive earthworks associated with roads and landings and it no longer has the tree canopy to reduce the impact of rain on the soils and stream, however the groundcover vegetation does develop rapidly. Importantly, the higher sediment loads in the stream appear to be from in-channel processes and not so much from the harvested area.

“Despite the sediment loads being higher after harvesting, there has been no quantitative or anecdotal evidence to suggest any impact on water quality or habitat in the Tadmor River downstream.

“This is a valuable opportunity to test the performance of current and new in-forest sediment management techniques - and we are grateful to work alongside Cawthron Institute, Envirolink, Manaaki Whenua - Landcare Research as well as the Ministry for Primary Industries. This is important work, which we'll be able to share widely with the forestry sector and other stakeholders,” said Jo.

Source: OneFortyOne

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Yellow jerseys of the fireline: A day fighting wildfires

For three weeks in July, the world’s most elite bike racers climb steep mountains and sprint along historic cobblestones to capture the coveted yellow jersey or the race leader in the Tour de France. It’s a 22-day feat of human endurance that requires constant eating and drinking to manage the average daily energy demand of about 6,000 calories, equivalent to around 12 McDonald’s Happy Meals, and just over 1.5 gallons of water.

Nearly 5,000 miles away in the mountains of North America, radios crackle with chatter from a wildfire incident command post, air operations and other crews fighting a wildfire. Up the fireline, the swings of Pulaskis, axlike hand tools, are carving a fuel break into the land. The weather forecast predicts a high of nearly 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 C) with wind, a combination that can push the fire high up into the canopy of dense lodgepole pines on the mountainside.

The yellow jerseys here are sooty, sweat-stained and flame-resistant, with a strong, earthy odour. Hotshot crews like this one are the elite workforce of the forest, and the demand on their bodies can rival that of the cyclists in the Tour de France, as recent research shows.

On this morning, the Hotshot crew has already hiked 3 miles up steep, uneven terrain and built nearly 1,200 feet of fire line. It is not yet 10 a.m. The day is just beginning, the first day of a 14-day rollout.

Measured with the same techniques used to quantify the energy demands of Tour de France riders, wildland firefighters demonstrate an average total energy expenditure approaching 4,000 to 5,000 calories per day. Some days can exceed the Tour’s average of about 6,000 calories. Add to that a daily water need of 1.5 to over 2 gallons.

This isn’t just for a few days. Fire season in the western United States can last five months or more, with most Hotshot crews accumulating four to five times the number of operational days of the 22-day Tour de France and over 1,000 hours of overtime.

Every year, on average, about 60,000 wildfires will burn across roughly 70 million acres in the western U.S. Drying grasses and forests create fuel for the spark of a lightning strike, power line or carelessly abandoned campfire, and windy summer weather can spread that into a blaze. When those fires could threaten communities, the Hotshots are mobilized.

Impact on the wildland firefighter’s body

As the work shift progresses, the Hotshots constantly monitor their surroundings and self-regulate nutrient and fluid intake, knowing their shift will last 12 to 16 hours. During intense activity in high heat, their fluid intake can increase to 32 ounces per hour or more.

The highest-intensity activity is generally during the early morning hike to the fire line. However, the metabolic demands can sharply increase if crews are forced into a rapid emergency evacuation from the fire, as more than 25 years of wildland firefighter physiology research shows.

The most effective way for wildland firefighters to stay fuelled is to eat small meals frequently throughout the work shift, similar to the patterns perfected by riders in the Tour. This preserves cognitive health, helping firefighters stay focused and sharp for making potentially lifesaving decisions and keenly aware of their ever-dynamic surroundings, and boosts work performance. It also helps slow the depletion of important muscle fuel.

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Source: theconversation

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Huge electric and hydrogen haul trucks tested

Iron ore and green energy giant Fortescue Metals says it is rolling out its first prototype three megawatt fast charger as it continues trials of its first electric heavy haulage truck – dubbed the Road Runner – at one of its giant Pilbara mines.

Mark Hutchinson, the head of Fortescue Energy, says the company’s “green fleet” team is now testing a 240 tonne mining haul truck that was developed with Liebherr, which uses a 1.4MWh battery (which itself weighs 15 tonnes) that has been developed by Fortescue’s Williams Advanced Engineering team.

Hutchinson also revealed that the company is also commissioning a prototype a 3MW fast-charger to re-charge the truck, which is operating at the Christmas Creek mine that is partly powered by a nearby 60MW solar farm.

“We’re on track to begin testing (the fast charger) on site this quarter,” Hutchinson told analysts and media on a call to discuss the company’s latest quarterly production results. “This will help us to understand and develop whole truck duty and charging cycles. To have developed and gotten ready and delivered technology of this scale for on-site testing is a huge feat. This is really exciting progress.”

To put the size of these electric trucks, batteries and fast chargers into perspective, electric passenger cars have weights of one to two tonnes, feature batteries that range from 50kWh to 100kWh in capacity, and generally plug into fast chargers that range from 50kw to 350kW.

Fortescue is also testing the first of its hydrogen fuel cell trucks at the mine, which fits into its big global plans for green hydrogen, but may not be able to compete with battery electric trucks at mine sites. “We are putting both technologies on site this calendar year, so we can figure out the round-trip efficiency and use those insights to make final decision on what our fleets will be in the future,” says Christiaan Heyning, the head of decarbonisation.

Mining companies such as BHP and Rio have already flagged that battery electric beats hydrogen on costs, although trials will continue as the world watches how the costs in battery and electrolyser and fuel cell technologies develop in coming years.

Hutchinson says Fortescue is continuing its research and development into battery electric vehicles and the batteries themselves at WAE, including for trains such as the so-called “infinity train” that it is hoping to deploy at its Pilbara mines. This train is based on the idea that a fully laden train going downhill from the mines to the port will effectively charge the batteries – through regeneration – enough to take the empty trains back to the mine. And so on.

But it is also trialling its first “dual-fuel” trains that use green ammonia – mainly for other customers that may not have the advantage of the height difference needed to make the infinity train concept work.

Source: thedriven

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Revolutionising Earth observation with Lidar mapping

Geospatial satellite startup NUVIEW on an ambitious mission

A new and ambitious startup called NUVIEW entered the geospatial satellite industry in May 2023, following a lengthy period in ‘stealth mode’. In this exclusive interview with GIM International, the company’s CEO and co-founder Clint Graumann discusses the firm’s aspirations.

The startup is on a mission to revolutionize Earth observation by constructing the world’s first-ever commercial Lidar satellite constellation dedicated to annually mapping the entire land surface of the planet in 3D and developing intricate virtual replicas or ‘digital twins’. This ambitious endeavour signifies NUVIEW’s commitment to leveraging cutting-edge technology to provide comprehensive and high-resolution geospatial data that will empower multiple critical sectors – such as agriculture, urban planning and disaster mitigation – and drive impact and innovation across the globe.

How did NUVIEW come about? What are the driving forces behind your groundbreaking plan?

We envision a future with an unparalleled wealth of precise, high-resolution data of the Earth’s surface. In a nutshell, I would say that we aim to revolutionize the market by executing our bold vision to create a network of cutting-edge satellites that will provide a continuously updated global 3D point cloud from space. Our company emerged from a deep understanding and recognition of the limitations of traditional Earth observation and mapping methods. Leveraging our extensive experience, we have assembled a team of exceptional professionals and are developing first-of-its-kind technology.

How many satellites will be necessary? What level of resolution are you aiming for, and what is the intended timeframe?

We aim to have 20 satellites in the NUVIEW constellation, and we are building our system with the target of achieving the US Geological Survey’s Topographic Data Quality Levels, beginning with QL2 and progressing over time. As things currently stand, the intention is to launch our satellites in four separate groups. Each group will comprise five satellites, and there will be an 18-month interval between the launch of each group. As a tentative timeline, we plan to launch the first satellites in 24-36 months’ time.

What has been the market reaction to NUVIEW?

Word spreads quickly within the geospatial/mapping community, and our groundbreaking technology created a buzz among people who have been waiting for these advancements. As news of our innovative technology circulated, we began receiving inquiries from numerous groups interested in working with us. These initial contacts paved the way for strong relationships, ultimately leading to letters of intent, early-adopter agreements and other contracts totalling US$1.2 billion from a wide range of commercial and public entities. And we’re strategically positioned to unveil more fundraising initiatives in the weeks to come.

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Source: GIM International

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SnapSTAT - New forest planting areas at a glance

With Government policy advisers seemingly concerned we are planting too many new forests, history and more recent policy uncertainty suggests projections for the next 15 years of 25,000 to 33,000 hectares annually are unlikely. See the graph below since 1922.


More on 2023 CCC advice to Government: Here

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The trees come back - looking back 42 years

Some of the worst eroded pasture land in New Zealand can be seen in the East Cape region of the North Island. This film, produced 42 years ago, explains in detail how the problem arose, starting with the European settlement in the late 1890s when the natural forests were destroyed to make way for farmland. This destruction, coupled with high rainfall and land that was naturally unstable, led to spectacular erosion.

The film describes how the then New Zealand Forest Service established the East Cape forests of Mangatu and Ruatoria. The large plantation forests of radiata pine have helped to stabilise the land and provided employment for the inhabitants of the East Cape region. The film also shows that, by measuring land movement on planted and unplanted slopes, Forest Research Institute scientists have been able to produce geological maps and a system of land classification based on slope stability.

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Carbon credit auction fails again

Uncertainties around NZ Government policy have dogged the carbon market all year.

Businesses passed over buying more than 13 million carbon credits with a supposed market value of almost NZ$900 million that were offered at a government auction on Wednesday. That was the third successive time this year that the auction has failed, depriving the Government of income that is currently used to fund climate abatement initiatives but which the National Party would in future redirect to pay for tax cuts.

The Treasury will have another opportunity to replenish its coffers from the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) in December, when Salt Funds Management carbon fund manager Paul Harrison expected about 15 million carbon credits would be on offer, including the credits that had so far gone unsold this year.

However, he believed buyers might pass over the credits again at that auction, at which point they would in effect disappear. Another auction failure could be positive for the environment if it raised the price of emitting carbon in future, but that could come at the short-term cost of depriving the Government of more than $1 billion of income from the ETS.

For further coverage on the auction – and where to from here, check out commentary this week from Carbon Match

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Sources: Stuff, Carbon Match

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Forest AI – measuring global carbon capture

A scientist from Indiana’s Purdue University is working with a large team of global collaborators to develop an artificial intelligence (AI) model that will combine information collected about billions of trees measured on-site in the world’s forests using satellite and other geospatial data.

This information will then be used to map carbon accumulation rates across the globe. Associate Professor Jingjing Liang has been enabled to conduct this research thanks to a two-year, US$870,000 grant from the World Resources Institute – a non-profit research organisation based in Washington D.C. He is Associate Professor of quantitative forest ecology and co-director of the Forest Advanced Computing and Artificial Intelligence Lab at Purdue.

“To accurately capture the carbon accumulation rates of forested ecosystems across the world has always been a challenging task,” Associate Professor Liang said. These challenges are the result of the difficulties around capturing the sheer volume of ground-sourced data required to complete this type of project, and the limited amount of such data currently available to the scientific community.

According to Nancy Harris, Research Director of the Land and Carbon Lab at the World Resources Institute, this is a much more difficult undertaking than the mapping of carbon emissions resulting from forest losses. “With emissions, there’s a clear signal in satellite imagery when trees are cut, leading to a big drop in forest carbon stocks and a relatively abrupt pulse of emissions to the atmosphere,” Dr Harris said.

Conversely, when it comes to carbon sequestration, forests and trees accumulate it gradually and in a non-linear way, meaning even the most advanced ground-based sensors are unable to reliably capture the data required to make estimations.

Carbon accumulation rates in forests are therefore estimated using three key measures:

Ingrowth – the number of seedlings that have reached the threshold size required to be considered as trees

Upgrowth – the increase in tree diameters which is aided through photosynthesis

Mortality – the number of trees that reach the end of their lives.

Ground-sourced data measured in an ongoing capacity at various intervals over time is the only truly reliable means the industry has at its disposal to collect accurate information relating to these three factors.

As a result, rates of ingrowth, upgrowth and mortality in individual forest stands have never been able to be estimated on a global scale, meaning significant uncertainties around the amounts and trends of carbon sequestration at different locations around the world.

To overcome this knowledge gap, Associate Professor Liang is developing an AI model to combine satellite and other geospatial data relating to billions of trees from forest growers around the world, meaning the required local forest information needed to estimate carbon sink can be captured on a global scale.

While being the first AI-based forest growth model to be deployed at a global scale, and thus able to accurately quantify levels of carbon capture, the model will also be able to gather information on factors such as biodiversity and timber quality.

“The spatially granular data this new project will provide will help us better understand the role our planet’s forests play in local, nature-based solutions to mitigate global climate change,” Dr Harris said.

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Photo credit: FAO/Marlondag

Sources: FWPA, Purdue University

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Hybridised drivetrains & electrification of tower yarders?

Researchers examined the potential of hybridized drivetrains for tower yarder applications.

Radical changes are necessary to address challenges related to global warming and pollution. Ever-tightening emission standards for combustion engines have already led to a drastic reduction in the amount of harmful gas and matter emitted.

Drivetrain hybridization and electrification, which are becoming increasingly popular in all sectors, are two additional ways to achieve that goal. However, within the forestry sector most of the equipment still rely on conventional mechanic or hydraulic drivetrains. An example of this is tower yarders, the workhorse of the steep terrain logging industry.

This research simulated the duty cycle and energy flow of tower yarders in logging operations, both with conventional diesel–hydraulic configuration and a proposed hybrid configuration. The objective was to determine the potential of hybridized drivetrains for tower yarder applications. Detailed models were developed to describe the cable-based extraction of timber and tower yarder internal processes. Extensive simulations were performed to determine force, power and energy components during the harvesting operation for both the diesel–hydraulic and hybrid drivetrains.

Results confirm the large potential of the hybrid configuration for efficiency improvement and emission reduction, with estimated fuel savings of 45% and 63% in the uphill and downhill configurations, respectively. Extensive sensitivity analysis further demonstrates that the hybrid concept remains effective across a wide range of cable setup and transport characteristics. This confirms the large potential of electrified drivetrains, especially in the presence of very dynamic duty cycles, as is the case in cable-based logging equipment.

This research was titled " Tower yarder powertrain performance simulation analysis: electrification study” and was published in the European Journal of Forest Research. The researchers were Stefan Leitner, Manuel Antonio Perez Estevez, Massimiliano Renzi, Raffaele Spinelli, Fabrizio Mazzetto & Renato Vidoni.

The report along with more detailed information on the research can be found here.


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Seed shortage & fire puts Victorian forests at risk

Victoria’s Ash forests are on the brink of ecosystem collapse following a poor flowering season and repeated fire events, warns the State’s leading forest flowering and seeding expert.

The issue highlights concerns raised by Forestry Australia, the seed collection services provided by VicForests, may be lost following the native timber sector shutdown in Victoria.

Ecologist Owen Bassett, who has continuously monitored flowering and seed crops in Victoria’s Ash forests since 1994, has reported that for the first time in 28 years, flowering did not occur as predicted, greatly impacting the natural regeneration ability and hampering seed collection efforts.

“What this means for Victoria’s Ash forests is that they are at serious risk of ecosystem collapse, because they will not have the capacity to naturally regenerate themselves come the next fire season,” he said.

Seed collection has also been part of Mr Bassett’s work with seeds gathered used to assist forest regeneration after fire and storm events. Forests harvested for timber are also resown using seed from the harvest sites with leftover seed contributing to a bank used to resow areas including national parks.

However, with repeated bushfires in 1998, 2003, 2006/07, 2009, 2013, 2018, 2019 and 2019/20, the seed bank was nearly exhausted. “The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning and VicForests undertook the largest sowing event in Victoria’s history following the 2019/20 bushfires resowing of 11,500ha of Ash forest,” Mr Bassett said.

“However, despite that world-leading effort, more than 10,000ha of Ash forests were not able to be resown and is not likely to recover following those fires. “Another serious concern is that there is at least 143,000ha of fire-killed forest which is now regenerating, but extremely vulnerable to another fire event. If it burns it will be lost forever because it doesn’t have the ability to reseed itself and we just don’t have the seed to resow it.”

Seed collection is one of the services provided by Victoria’s forest agency VicForests which deposits into the seed bank seed from timber harvest and specific collection operations. However, Forestry Australia President Dr Michelle Freeman said this service may be lost following the native timber sector shutdown in Victoria.

“With the closure of native forest harvesting and recent announcement that seed collection contractors are now considered part of that transition package, who will save our forests when the next bushfire comes?” she said. Dr Freeman said the Australasian Fire Authority Spring outlook for 2023 identifies Gippsland will face high fire risk this season putting Ash forests at risk.

“In the face of these threats, active forest management is vital to build resilience against catastrophic fire and restore and maintain forest ecosystems,” Dr Freeman said. “If we are serious about meeting Greenhouse Gas emissions targets, then we must do more instead of taking people such as highly skilled seed collectors out of the forests.”

Source: Forestry Australia

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Accelerating Australia's hydrogen-transport future

A new report released by CSIRO, Australia’s national science agency, and GHD Advisory calls for Australia to focus on hydrogen-powered transport – alongside electric vehicles – or risk being left behind our international counterparts. While battery electric vehicles will drive decarbonisation of road transport in Australia, there are opportunities for hydrogen-powered vehicles to play a significant role with long-haul travel and freight transport.

This is because hydrogen-powered vehicles are quicker to refuel, have a greater range between refuelling stops and can maximise their payload because they don’t need to carry large, heavy batteries required by electric vehicles. The ‘Hydrogen vehicle refuelling infrastructure’ report sets out the opportunities and challenges for deploying refuelling stations for hydrogen-powered road vehicles in Australia.

CSIRO’s chief scientist, Prof Bronwyn Fox, said Australia needs to urgently decarbonise its transport sector, which currently accounts for 18.6 per cent of our greenhouse gas emissions, if the country is to meet its net zero commitments. Heavy vehicles are a key contributor to these emissions.

“While we know hydrogen will play a critical role, we also know that much of the key infrastructure for storing, moving and distributing hydrogen for use as a transport fuel – including pipelines, storage tanks and refuelling stations - is yet to be built,” Prof Fox said. “That’s why this report is so important. It identifies priorities for action, including areas that would benefit from targeted research and innovation.”

The report compared the different hydrogen storage and dispensing options available, and evaluated refuelling infrastructure options based on fuel demand and distance from the hydrogen source. It found that while all Australian hydrogen refuelling stations currently have onsite hydrogen production, we will need to move to centralised offsite production and distribution of hydrogen in order to refuel vehicles at scale.

Shawn Wolfe, Executive Advisor at GHD Advisory and lead author of the report, said Australia currently has only five hydrogen refuelling stations in operation, with 20 planned or under construction. “The pace of the transition to hydrogen-powered transport is moving a lot faster internationally than in Australia,” Mr Wolfe said.

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Source: CSIRO

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Te Arawa & Sealord partner in $10m carbon offsets

Sealord is investing NZ$10 million over the next ten years in a carbon offset programme that will see underutilised Te Arawa whenua around the wider Rotorua region developed into permanent forest.

The programme, developed by Te Arawa Fisheries and New Zealand Carbon Farming (NZCF), will help offset some of the carbon resulting from Sealord’s operations, maximise the potential of marginal land, create jobs and improve whānau outcomes, and help improve the local environment, including water quality in and around Te Arawa lakes.

Called Ara Rākau, Te Arawa Fisheries CEO Chris Karamea Insley says the initiative is a solid example of the opportunities the carbon economy offers Māori, while highlighting the role Aotearoa New Zealand’s leading companies can take in supporting the country’s climate commitments.

“The Emissions Trading Scheme represents a NZ$16 billion economic opportunity for Māori – one which will be transformative for generations as poor quality land can be used to generate better economic, cultural, social and environmental outcomes – not just for Māori, but for entire communities.

“This is a New Zealand-leading climate change partnership kaupapa, based on te ao Māori principles. In this case, Sealord will improve their carbon footprint, improved financial returns will be driven for hapu, new jobs will be created, and we can make a real difference when it comes to water quality in our lakes. It’s a genuine win-win-win,” says Mr Insley.

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Buy and Sell

... and one to end the week on ... the card

A Department of Water representative stopped at a ranch and talked with an old rancher.

He told the rancher, 'I need to inspect your ranch for your water allocation.'

The old rancher said, 'Okay, but don't go in that field over there.' The Water representative said, 'Mister, I have the authority of the Federal Government with me. See this card? The card means I am allowed to go where ever I wish on any agricultural land. No questions asked or answered. Have I made myself clear? Do you understand?'

The old rancher nodded politely and went about his chores. Later, the old rancher heard a loud scream and saw the Water Rep running for the fence and close behind was the rancher's bull.

The bull was gaining on the Water Rep with every step.

The Rep was clearly terrified, so the old rancher immediately threw down his tools, ran to the fence and shouted out ...


And on that note, enjoy your weekend. Cheers.

Brent Apthorp
Editor, Friday Offcuts
Distinction Dunedin Hotel
6 Liverpool Street, Dunedin 9016, New Zealand
PO Box 904, Dunedin 9054, New Zealand
Tel: +64 (03) 470 1902, Mob: +64 21 227 5177, Fax: +64 (03) 470 1906
Web page:

This week's extended issue, along with back issues, can be viewed at

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