Sharechat Logo

Solid Energy opens southern hemisphere's largest wood pellet plant

Friday 5th March 2010

Text too small?

Solid Energy, the state-owned coal and thermal fuels producer, has opened the first stage of a project that aims to produce up to 300,000 tonnes of high efficiency-burning wood pellets from forestry industry waste and logs annually.

Prime Minister John Key opened the facility, capable currently of producing 40,000 tonnes of pellets annually for a rapidly growing world market for wood pellet fuel, which stands at 11 million tonnnes a year, of which around 3 million tonnes is exported offshore globally.

A maiden export shipment of 6,500 tonnes for European power plant use is being assembled at Port of Napier, the first in a three year, $15 million contract with the European utility sector. Solid Energy's wood pellets subsidiary, Nature's Flame, is also selling pellets to domestic consumers in Italy, where wood pellet burners have become a common alternative to higher cost electricity and gas heating.

Situated in the Aratiatia industrial park, near Taupo, the plant currently uses electricity for processing but is geared to be able to use geothermal energy for kiln-drying as it expands in response to anticipated demand.

Solid Energy CEO Don Elder said it was the largest in the southern hemisphere, and "lifts wood pellets into the mainstream of New Zealand energy options and signals the beginning of a new income stream for New Zealand exports".

Because they are produced from plantation timber, Solid Energy claims the pellets as a renewable thermal fuel, with total European wood pellet imports valued already at around $400 million a year.

  General Finance Advertising    

Comments from our readers

No comments yet

Add your comment:
Your name:
Your email:
Not displayed to the public
Comments to Sharechat go through an approval process. Comments which are defamatory, abusive or in some way deemed inappropriate will not be approved. It is allowable to use some form of non-de-plume for your name, however we recommend real email addresses are used. Comments from free email addresses such as Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, etc may not be approved.

Related News:

Fletcher Building Announces Director Appointment
Meridian issues new demand response exercise notice to NZAS
CRP - Chatham Closes Private Placement of Shares
General Finance - Olympic Term Deposit Promotion featuring a Special Bonus of 0.1%
July 22nd Morning Report
VCT - Operational performance for the year ended 30 June 2024
Challenge to banks the way to go
Bigger returns or lower risk?
NPH - Director Appointment
July 19th Morning Report