Friday Offcuts – 14 December 2018

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With only a week or so to go before Christmas and the extended summer break, this will be the last issue of Friday Offcuts for 2018. Like most of you, we plan on taking a well-deserved week or two off. Normal production is scheduled to resume on Friday 18 January 2019. Before signing off we’d like to thank all of you for your ongoing support, your regular contributions and comments during the year and your continued encouragement. It's certainly appreciated and we look forward to working with all of you again next year.

As most of us are getting close to heading away (unless of course you’ve been rostered onto fire duty or are involved in mill maintenance or equipment installations over the break) we do have a bumper pre-Christmas issue for you. First off is the announcement made this week on the next round of changes to New Zealand’s Emissions Trading Scheme. The inclusion of permanent forests into the scheme, a cap on emissions, a system to manage carbon credits supply and prices and the possibility of a price floor are the major changes announced. Agriculture (currently emitting 49% of NZ’s emissions) is still outside the scheme. A full debrief on the announcement and further details around the implications to forestry are contained in the stories below.

After last week’s issue many of you have been asking about the major wood harvesting event, HarvestTECH 2019, being run in New Zealand next year. Already, most of the major international and local wood harvesting equipment suppliers and leading contractors on both sides of the Tasman have pencilled in 26-27 June next year in Rotorua, New Zealand. It’s the major two-yearly gathering of wood harvesting contractors, harvest planners and forestry companies.

Last time it ran, in 2017, the event sold out well in advance. 2015 the time before that, same story. We’ll provide you with more details next year. For your information though, the full programme (as it currently stands) is now up on line. You can check out what’s being planned, what companies and contractors are going to be presenting and why you need to build this into your diaries for next year, by clicking here.

For the North American harvesting event, HarvestTECHX (, running in Vancouver on 13-14 March next year, remember that if any of you are planning to travel up to this major gathering, super early-bird registrations finish next Thursday, on 20 December.

For the technology events being planned for 2019, you can also check out the details in this week’s story. It’s been designed by the Forest Industry Engineering Association, many of our readers and key national and international tech providers. Early planning will enable you to mark the relevant details onto your calendar (as potential delegates, as presenters, as event exhibitors or industry associations). We’ll provide updates as we move into next year.

Enjoy this final read of 2018. See you all again in 2019.

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Government announces changes to NZ’s ETS

Acting Climate Change Minister Julie Anne Genter late on Wednesday announced the first of two planned tranches of improvements to the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme (NZ ETS) following recent public consultation.

These improvements, together with the second tranche of decisions, are expected to be introduced to Parliament next year as amendments to the Climate Change Response Act 2002, which is the legislation that established the ETS.

Acting Minister Julie Anne Genter says “the most significant improvement is establishing a framework which will enable New Zealand’s emissions under the ETS to be capped in future. This would restrict the number of units supplied into the scheme, increasing the incentive to reduce emissions”.

“Up until now, the ETS has been the only emissions trading scheme globally which doesn’t have a cap. The ability to set a cap will help New Zealand meet its international climate change targets, as well as any new domestic targets,” says Acting Minister Genter.

As well as increasing the incentive to reduce emissions, Julie Anne Genter notes that the improvements focus on providing more certainty to scheme participants.

“Submitters to the recent ETS consultation told us that ETS settings needed to be more predictable so participants could confidently take further action to invest in low-emissions activities.

“We’re putting in place a predictable process to manage the cap over time. This will include annual announcements looking forward five years. Auctioning will be introduced into the ETS in a way that aligns the supply of units with New Zealand’s emission reduction targets. The cost containment reserve, operated through the auctioning mechanism, will replace the current price ceiling, or fixed price option (FPO), once it is ready.”

The cap will include setting the number of units to be auctioned and the settings for the new cost containment reserve. Currently, market participants can choose to pay $25 for every tonne of emissions they emit instead of buying units from emissions unit holders.

Julie Anne Genter has made it clear that the improvements do not affect the fixed price option and noted that, “The fixed price option for surrenders due in 2019 will continue to remain at $25 in order to maintain regulatory predictability.”

“We want the ETS reforms to be well-managed and well-signalled and this means keeping the FPO in place while those reforms go through,” she says. The Government will also investigate the potential introduction of a price floor in the scheme.

“We heard from submitters that having a price floor in the ETS might encourage investment to reduce emissions, so we are going to investigate this option further,” says Ms Genter. “No decision has been made as to when the ETS will be reopened to international units but, at this stage, they would not be a first choice.

“If, in future, the Government decided to allow international units, we would ensure that the units were of high environmental integrity,” Acting Minister Genter says. “We’re confident that these changes provide an important balance between predictability for market participants, and flexibility for the Government to manage the ETS so that it supports our emissions reduction targets,” Ms Genter says.

Other key changes announced which will improve the effectiveness of the ETS include setting up an infringement offence regime for low-level offending against the ETS rules, and taking steps to improve market governance.

Throughout August and September, the Ministry for the Environment, Ministry for Primary Industries, and Te Uru Rakau (Forestry New Zealand) consulted on proposed improvements to the ETS.

Just over 250 submissions were received from businesses and industry groups, iwi and Maori, community groups and individuals; the majority of which supported the Government’s proposals.

Copies of the submissions can be viewed at

Information about the forestry changes planned for the ETS can be found by visiting the Ministry for Primary Industries webpage.

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HarvestTECH 2019 details now out

The 2015 harvesting event, HarvestTECH was a SELL OUT. The 2017 event likewise sold out. Both at the time were the largest gathering of harvesting contractors, forestry managers, forest owners, harvest planners and all of the major equipment suppliers to the logging industry seen in New Zealand. Around 450 met in Rotorua, New Zealand.

In addition to having most logging contractors from throughout the country attending, the events drew in a large contingent of contractors and forest managers from throughout Australia, as well as attracting key equipment suppliers, researchers, forestry companies and international contractors from Europe, the US, Canada, Papua New Guinea and Asia.

2019 is shaping up to be another standout. Already, as well as key local equipment and technology suppliers, most major international equipment providers will be bringing in international expertise for the event. Leading contractors have already committed to present, as part of the two-day event, on new and innovative technologies along with some pretty clever operating practices that they’ve employed. This includes processes which are making a significant difference to their both their operations productivity and safety.

So, what’s being covered?

- Recent innovations in steep slope and winch assist harvesting
- Getting the best out of existing hauler & ground-based operations
- Harvest planning - new systems really making a difference
- Effective use of collected data from your harvesting operation
- Options for eliminating log sorts and reducing landing sizes
- Tools & Systems for harvesting smaller woodlots
- Remote sensing technologies for harvest planning and operations
- Solutions for improving in-forest communications
- Increased automation and mechanisation - new R&D
- Remote control, robotics, virtual reality and automation in the bush
- Filling the skills gap in harvesting

The full programmes can now be viewed on line. You can check out what’s being planned on the event website,

As anticipated, at this stage, many of the exhibition stands have been taken. If a supplier to wood harvesting operations in this region and you haven’t as yet booked a space, best get onto it (contact or Tel: +64 7 921 1384) before you break for Christmas to avoid missing out.

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ETS forestry improvements unveiled

New Zealand’s Forestry Minister Shane Jones announced this week the first set of improvements to the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) – the country’s main tool for reducing greenhouse gas emissions – following extensive public consultation.

“The ETS should be able to deliver effective emissions pricing, be simple and credible to encourage new forests and discourage deforestation” Shane Jones said. “Cabinet has approved the first set of improvements, which includes the addition of permanent forests to the scheme. This will provide more incentives for landowners to integrate trees into their landscapes, enable them to them to diversify their income while also providing long-term environmental benefits”.

“We’re making good on our promise to encourage more forestry and make better use of land, especially on erosion-prone land. By establishing a permanent forest, with indigenous or exotic species, land owners will be able to better optimise their non-productive agricultural land and enjoy income from the sale of New Zealand units, while also increasing biodiversity and reducing erosion.

“Other changes are geared towards helping reduce both complexity and the barriers to forest owners being part of the ETS. These provide a solid foundation for future planting efforts, which could see us double the number of trees planted.

“We’ve listened to extensive feedback, and I think forest owners, businesses and landowners will welcome these changes, which will come into effect after the final round of ETS improvements have been made next year.

“We have also consulted on a new accounting option for post-1989 forests in the ETS – known as averaging. Cabinet will consider this and other improvements early next year,” Shane Jones said.


- A new permanent post-1989 forestry activity within the ETS will replace the current Permanent Forestry Sink Initiative.

- Currently it’s not possible to enter a post-1989 forest as a permanent forest in the ETS, even if it will never be harvested.

- The changes will not come into effect until the amendments to the Climate Change Response Act 2002 go through Parliament.

- Current participants in the PFSI will not be adversely affected by the conversion of the PFSI into the new Permanent Forestry activity within the ETS. Te Uru Rakau will be in contact with these landowners to advise them about their options, including to support their transfer into the ETS.

- The operational improvements will remove barriers to participation and compliance. Changes to offsetting and tree weed provisions will increase land-use flexibility while ensuring that the ETS supports afforestation and discourages deforestation.

- The changes also address a long-standing issue which relates to multiply-owned Maori land and the challenges they face accessing exemptions from pre-1990 deforestation liabilities.

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2019 Technology Events – mark your diaries

Again, after an incredibly busy year, the Forest Industry Engineering Association (FIEA) has in conjunction with a wide cross section of industry, in both New Zealand and Australia, developed a Technology Events Planner for next year. With very high turnouts again at all FIEA technology events run this year, we’re really excited with what 2019 holds.

The Events Planner (FIEA and Innovatek) will enable forestry and wood products companies to pencil the dates into your own calendar for next year. For industry associations, research organisations and those involved in setting up your own programmes for 2019, the calendar will enable you to take note of the dates (and ideally look to dovetail in to the tech events timing and location to add value to those attending).

For product, equipment and technology providers and service suppliers, we hope this forward planning will also enable you to schedule your involvement and to budget early on in the year. For overseas suppliers, it will enable you to lock in a time to plan visits to your key customers or distributors in Australia and New Zealand and to link in to the relevant technology events in this part of the world next year.

Please click here to access the calendar of 2019 technology events.

Mark the dates into your 2019 calendars. As often presenter opportunities and exhibiting spaces are booked out in advance of the event running, at any time, please get back to us (details on the attached planner) if:

- You’d (or a company you are representing) like to put your name forward to present at a 2019 event.

- You’d like to be sent further information on exhibiting or sponsoring any one of the events being planned.

- You’d like to be considered to run a short workshop alongside one of the events being planned in 2019. This increasingly is being used at our technology events. It optimises the time at the conference for delegates and of course capitalises on the expertise being brought in for the event.

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Australia’s pulp and paper industries leading

Australia’s renewable pulp and paper industries are leading the way in global sustainability and innovation, according to a new report, Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA), Mr Ross Hampton said.

"The 2018 National Pulp and Paper Sustainability Report confirms Australia’s renewable pulp and paper industries are setting the agenda with ambitious investments in renewable energy and cutting-edge technology to underpin local manufacturing, and many regional jobs,” Mr Hampton said.

“This report reinforces the many socio-economic benefits the pulp and paper industry deliver to their associated communities. Australia's pulp and paper mills support almost 61,000 full time jobs, mostly in rural and regional areas, and generate more than AU$1 billion in exports.

“Furthermore, major industry players are finding new ways to enhance sustainability. Australian Paper’s Maryvale Mill is working on progressively reducing its contribution to landfill, with a zero-waste goal. In 2017, and in partnership with a local business, nearly 130,000 cubic metres of the Mill’s organic waste material was recycled into agricultural products for soil remediation and composting. The Mill is also the largest baseload generator of renewable energy in Victoria.

“Norske Skog’s Boyer Mill in Tasmania which produces much of Australia’s magazine and newsprint paper, has instituted a heat recovery and reuse system which lessens its reliance on coal. The greenhouse saving will equate to 14,000 less cars on the road.

“Visy Industries’ Tumut Pulp and Paper Mill’s leading bioenergy generation credentials are well known, but the report also highlights another important dimension of sustainability: Visy’s support of younger people developing an interest in manufacturing and engineering, illustrated by the Company’s sponsorship of the Tumut High School’s F1™ in Schools program.

“The 2018 National Pulp and Paper Sustainability Report, prepared by independent pulp and paper industry consultant IndustryEdge, and published by AFPA, demonstrates the excellent work being done by some of Australia’s most sustainable and renewable industries,” Mr Hampton said.

The report can be found on the AFPA website.

Source: AFPA

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Norske Skog increasing wood pellet capacity

The Norske Skog group has decided to invest about AUD 7 million to upgrade the Nature’s Flame wood pellets facility in New Zealand to more than double its annual production capacity to 85,000 tonnes. The increased production capacity will be commissioned in the fourth quarter of 2019. The approval of the 85,000 tonne capacity upgrade is also a building block for potential further expansion of Norske Skog’s pellet operations in New Zealand.

Mr. Eric Luck, Regional President Norske Skog Australasia, comments: “The investment supports Norske Skog Australasia’s ongoing strategy to “Build Our Future from Fibre and Energy”. The additional production capacity is aimed at producing premium industrial grade pellet fuels for both the domestic New Zealand commercial and industrial market, as well as for the rapidly growing Japanese and Korean green energy generation markets.”

Nature’s Flame’s state of the art plant at Taupo was acquired by Norske Skog in 2015, and is well positioned in the centre of the north island where the bulk of New Zealand’s forest-based industry is located. Wood pellets produced by Nature's Flame are a premium heating fuel made from wood residues from nearby timber processing facilities.

The materials used are originally sourced from sustainably managed, FSC certified softwood plantations in New Zealand. The wood pellets carry the internationally recognised DINplus certification as well as recognition from BioGro New Zealand Ltd that the pellets, as well as the ash remaining after combustion, are Certified Organic materials.

Source: Norske Skog

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Drone delivery takes off in Australia

At Amsterdam Drone Week, James Burgess of Google X spinoff Wing showed a system of drone delivery that’s made over 2500 customer flights in a test outside of Canberra, Australia. In the last nine months, Wing – graduated from Project X and now independent under parent company Alphabet – has worked on a widespread test of drone delivery in a suburban community of Australia.

The Wing test is both broad and deep. Wing isn’t just testing the safety and utility of their delivery drone and logistics process, but the viability of their UTM platform, which they hope to make available to 3rd parties. They’re working through usability issues for their delivery customers, their neighbours, and regulators – and while Burgess acknowledges that there are still many issues to consider, Wing has gone a long way in addressing the needs of the entire stakeholder community in drone delivery.

Wing’s customer is the consumer. Customers in the test area can request drone delivery from a number of different local businesses: first they order an item from a business, like a package of children’s aspirin from a local pharmacy. Wing then dispatches a drone – empty – from a launch area, and travels to the airspace around the pharmacy, without landing.

The drone lowers a winch, and the pharmacy attaches the package of aspirin. Wing then flies to the customers home – or the nearest viable and safe delivery point, which the customer may choose from – and lowers the package to them, again without landing: which means that customers and businesses only interact with the package, not the drone.

It’s a service that has proved more popular than Wing imagined. Customers have used the service more than anticipated, with over 2500 customer flights completed. Having already moved from more rural areas into the suburbs, next year Wing plans to move the service to more populated urban areas. More >>.


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Forestry industry slammed over methyl bromide

The New Zealand Government has lobbed a bomb at the forestry industry, slamming a lack of progress in finding ways to reduce emissions of the ozone-depleting pesticide methyl bromide. In a letter to industry groups, Environment Minister David Parker says he and his colleagues are "very concerned" that it appears a deadline to have all methyl bromide emissions recaptured by October, 2020 will be missed.

While there had been collaborative efforts through the industry group Stakeholders in Methyl Bromide Reduction (Stimbr), he said, "it appears that to date most companies have not been willing to invest sufficiently in effective recapture technology or infrastructure". He called for a meeting of stakeholders early in the new year to discuss solutions.

The industry has hit back, saying in a response letter that the deadline was "self-imposed" by government and could lead to "significant economic disruption". Forest owners have also fired a broadside at the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA), accusing it of delays in ruling on an application to register a chemical it hopes will be a replacement for methyl bromide.

In his letter to Stimbr chair Don Hammond and other industry groups, Parker said under the Montreal Protocol aimed at protecting the ozone layer, New Zealand had an obligation to minimise methyl bromide emissions as much as possible through containment and recapture technologies.

A re-assessment of the pesticide by the EPA in 2010 resulted in a new control requiring all fumigations to use recapture technology within 10 years. "The recapture obligation effectively requires 99.9 per cent of methyl bromide used to be recaptured. However, nowhere near this level of recapture is currently being achieved, and nor is it likely to be by 2020," Parker wrote.

"We want to remind you that the 2020 deadline is getting ever closer. Any operator non-compliant after the deadline will be unable to operate after this date." More >>

Source & Photo:

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Tree Breeding Australia to be set up

The Southern Tree Breeding Association (STBA) - manager of national tree improvement programs and supplier of tree genetic evaluation services to Australia’s AU$23 billion forestry sector - will become Tree Breeding Australia (TBA) from 1 July 2019. At its recent 2018 AGM, STBA members voted unanimously to form the new company and create a national tree breeding organisation, which will better reflect the geographically-diverse nature of its membership base.

Dr Tony McRae, General Manager, STBA, said the logical administrative evolution from a state-based association to a national entity will ensure the organisation continues to evolve, modernise and prepare for the future.

“The establishment of Tree Breeding Australia has been in the pipeline for several years but we believe now is the time to proceed with the transition to the new entity,” Dr McRae said. “As the preeminent manager of Australian tree improvement programs and genetic evaluation services, the formation of TBA will help us improve our governance structures, better manage risk on behalf of our members, and more efficiently meet their current and future needs.

“Demand for timber is currently exceeding grower’s capacity to supply and it’s increasingly important for the industry to continue maximising the productivity of the existing estate. It is clear genetics will play a key role in achieving this,” he said.

Established in 1983 to develop improved genetics for plantation forestry, the STBA is based in Mount Gambier, South Australia. In recent years, it has expanded to service member companies and clients in Western Australia, South Australia, Victoria, New South Wales, ACT, Tasmania and New Zealand, Asia and Europe.

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B.C. lumber mills struggling with log shortages

A wave of B.C. sawmill shutdowns and layoffs is a combination of reduced log supply, high log prices and a steep drop in lumber prices, forest industry executives say.

Lumber prices hit a record of $650 per 1,000 board feet early this year as U.S. housing demand ramped up and B.C. producers piled up lumber due to a shortage of rail cars, partly caused by increased oil-by-rail shipments.

That lumber inventory glut got moving as other producers switched from Asia to the U.S. for the high prices, and then the price fell below $300, said Susan Yurkovich, CEO of the B.C. umbrella group Council of Forest Industries.

“We’re looking for some price improvement,” Yurkovich told Black Press in an interview this week. “We’ve seen it improve a little bit over the last number of weeks, but that doesn’t change the fundamental issue around availability of fibre, in the Interior in particular, and the high fibre costs across the province.”

The log shortage is the tail end of a 15-year decline due to the mountain pine beetle epidemic in the B.C. Interior. Forests Minister Doug Donaldson said in an interview the job losses are partly a result of abnormally high salvage logging, and now the reduced allowable cut on Crown forest land is showing its effects.

Forest fires interrupted logging, but 2.4 million cubic metres of fire salvage timber were approved this summer for sawmills, Donaldson said. “We’re working with the community transition action team to identify skills training that could occur,” Donaldson said. “We want to try to keep people in their communities if they desire, and find jobs that are there.”

The province has increased land recovery spending by $22 million over three years, and that means “boots on the ground for reforestation,” he added.

Quesnel has been particularly affected, after Tolko Industries announced a shutdown of its sawmill there in October, affecting 100 direct jobs and associated logging. Tolko had previously shut down its Merritt sawmill, as B.C. companies adjusted to reduced allowable timber cut.

Then West Fraser Timber announced last week it is ending its third shift at its Quesnel and Fraser Lake sawmills, with more than 100 layoffs, a move described as permanent by B.C.’s largest lumber producer.

Conifex began a shutdown of its Fort St. James mill on Nov. 12, saying it will last at least four weeks. Interfor announced in October it is reducing production by about 20 per cent for the fourth quarter at its mills in the B.C. Interior, with reduced operating days and extended weekend and holiday breaks. Interfor has mills at Grand Forks, Castlegar and Chase.

Canfor Corp. announced Nov. 1 it is curtailing its B.C. mill operations by about 10 per cent during the fourth quarter of this year. Canfor president Don Kayne said the decision is a result of “log supply challenges following another difficult wildfire season, uncompetitive log costs and declining lumber prices.”

Teal Jones Group, with mills in Surrey, the Fraser Valley and Salmon Arm, has had a series of week-long shutdowns this year, also mainly due to a shortage of logs.

Yurkovich and Donaldson are joining B.C.’s annual forest industry trade mission to Asia in December, with stops in China, Japan and Korea. Donaldson said the focus continues to be on not just increasing Asia lumber trade, but selling more sophisticated wood products than lumber. “That’s where the long-term future lies, in adding more value,” Donaldson said.


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EWPAA supports Senate inquiry

The Engineered Wood Products Association of Australasia (EWPAA) supports the recommendations and final report by the Senate inquiry into non-conforming building products (NCBPs), released last week.

The recommendations centre around increased compliance in all levels of the construction industry, from builders through to architects and engineers, with a view to the recommendations being adopted at a State level across Australia.

The Senate’s recommendations include that the State governments urgently look to increase responsibility at all levels of the construction supply chain, similar to recent legislation enacted in Queensland. NCBPs represent a safety risk to occupants, to neighbours, a financial risk for owners, to insurers and financiers.

EWPAA CEO, Dave Gover, says that building products manufacturers have been campaigning for government awareness of NCBP issues in Australia for several years and it is time for more effective regulation, and for meaningful enforcement. The Senate inquiry also highlighted the importance of third-party certification schemes.

“EWPAA and other industry associations have been running third party certification programs which blend technical expertise with rigorous certification, to ensure products are fit for purpose” said Dave. “It is our hope that the Senate inquiry’s recommendations will influence positive change to our built environment and ensure that conforming building products are, and continue to be, readily identifiable to Australian builders and specifiers,” said Dave.

The use of wood products is well established in formwork, industrial access and residential applications, and are a growing opportunity in mid-rise construction. Conforming products certified by the EWPAA have been available in Australasian markets for over 50 years.

The Engineered Wood Products Association of Australasia (EWPAA) is a member association for manufacturers of engineered and solid timber products across Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and Fiji. The EWPAA coordinates a market development program which includes product testing, product certification, standards and codes development, technical promotion, research and development, market maintenance; as well as education and training.

Source: EWPAA

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Fatigued log transport drivers and sleep apnoea

Last week we were fortunate to get an update on the very popular work being delivered to log transport companies and their drivers up and down New Zealand. Of course it is led by the Log Transport Safety Council (LTSC). In the course of the meeting, LTSC's Bruce Nairn made mention of the high levels of interest aroused when they raise the subject of sleep apnoea. They now have an excellent resource they’ve developed in the accompanying video. You might want to watch this for yourself or show it to someone else in your work team. It could literally change their life and save the lives of other people too.

Give yourself a break, get a coffee and watch this:

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Industrial heat a challenge for emissions reduction

Reducing emissions from New Zealand’s heavy industry without using natural gas or a coal-biomass blend appears prohibitively expensive, based on analysis by Vivid Economics.

Using forestry to absorb emissions from hard-to-treat sectors like industrial heat, dry-year power generation and long-haul trucking, could raise energy costs by about NZ$3.8 billion to NZ$4.6 billion a year, or NZ$1,700 per household, the London-based consultancy says.

But if less planting is achieved than assumed in the Productivity Commission’s report on meeting the country’s 2050 net-zero carbon goal – and electricity or hydrogen has to be used to directly reduce emissions - that cost could climb to NZ$6.2 billion to NZ$7.2 billion – or NZ$2,700 per household annually.

One of the biggest contributors to that jump is the cost of alternative high-heat options for industry. “Only 5 percent of industry heat is provided by electricity, indicating the high cost and technical immaturity of this solution,” Vivid said.

“Currently, high-temperature heat pumps have an operational range of 80 – 150°C; while this is improving, the potential to cover high-grade heat processes is uncertain. The evidence on other technologies - hydrogen, resistive heating, induction heating and plasma torches - is currently poor, and costs are expected to be high.”

Heavy industry accounts for about 15 percent of the country’s emissions. Azwood Energy is perplexed by the government encouraging electrification of process heat when it says wood is readily available, cheaper and would not add additional load on the national grid.

General manager Brook Brewerton said work by forestry research institute Scion indicated the country’s wood residues could displace as much as 70 percent of the country’s coal demand and reduce emissions by 1.1 million tonnes per year.

“The Scion data is fantastic, it shows there is about 50 petajoules of energy going to waste,” he said. “If large energy users are willing to pay half of what they would for electricity per gigajoule – Azwood Energy could double the recoverability of biomass.”

Mataura Valley Milk general manager Bernard May said customers are demanding more sustainable products and the dairy industry will have to adapt its energy supplies. On the South Island, where the government has banned exploration for gas, that will mean switching to biomass, but more effort is needed to establish consistent, long-term supplies, he said.

The company, which already uses electric fork hoists and won’t allow suppliers to use palm kernel as feed next season, this year commissioned a coal-fired boiler that can be converted for biomass further down the track. But May noted the conversion might still cost a further $5 million, and the company can’t make that commitment until it can get a 10-year fuel contract to back it. More >>.

Source: BusinessDesk

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Buy and Sell

... and one to end the week on ... christmas travel and gifts

Christmas Divorce

A man in Adelaide calls his son in Brisbane the day before Christmas and says, "I hate to ruin your day, but I have to tell you that your mother and I are divorcing; forty-five years of misery is enough.

"Pop, what are you talking about?" the son screams.

"We can't stand the sight of each other any longer," the father says. "We're sick of each other, and I'm sick of talking about this, so you call your sister in Perth and tell her."

Frantic, the son calls his sister, who explodes on the phone. "Like heck they're getting divorced," she shouts, "I'll take care of this."

She calls Adelaide immediately, and screams at her father, "You are NOT getting divorced. Don't do a single thing until I get there. I'm calling my brother back, and we'll both be there tomorrow. Until then, don't do a thing, DO YOU HEAR ME?" and hangs up.

The old man hangs up his phone and turns to his wife. "Okay," he says, "they're coming for Christmas and paying their own way."

What to say about the "Special" Christmas gift this year

10. Hey! There's a gift!

9. Well, well, well...

8. Boy, if I had not recently shot up 4 sizes that would've fit.

7. This is perfect for wearing around the basement.

6. Gosh. I hope this never catches fire! It is fire season though. There are lots of unexplained fires.

5. If the dog buries it, I'll be furious!

4. I love it -- but I fear the jealousy it will inspire.

3. Sadly, tomorrow I enter the Federal Witness Protection Program.

2. To think -- I got this the year I vowed to give all my gifts to charity.

1. And finally, "I really don't deserve this."

And one for the kids - or the kid in you - to finish the year on.

That's it for this year. For many of you, some time next week it will be time to clean up the office, pack up for your holidays and plan to move on out. It's been a pleasure bringing you Offcuts every week and we're looking forward to working with you all again in 2019. We’ll get back into it early in the New-Year with the first issue of Offcuts planned for Friday 18 January 2019. Have a relaxing Christmas.


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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