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Issue 109 – February 2019

Welcome members and friends

The decision by the Government of British Columbia to introduce policy reforms which require greater added value processing of wood within Canada, rather than export of unprocessed logs, shows that governments can actively lead the transition of their economies and support local bioenergy industries. (see story later).

Applying similar policies in New Zealand, focusing on reducing forest waste and pursuing opportunities for using wood domestically, would ensure that the value of the trees we grow and the carbon that is captured and stored is maximised.  Currently 15-20% of a tree processed in New Zealand is wasted.  Most wasted wood is from the growing and harvesting of trees. (Wood processors use most of their residual biomass for timber drying.) In addition there is the 100% non-availability in New Zealand of biomass exported as logs. With exported logs the eventual process residues are given to another country to be used, when we could be using those residues here to replace domestic coal and gas for process heat.

If we process current exported logs within New Zealand then the wood residues become available as a high quality carbon feedstock for multiple purposes, including energy. Having the biomass residues available as fuel would also contribute to reducing any future risk of having to purchase carbon credits offshore to comply with our Paris commitments.

The forestry business is an exception to most manufacturing where the residues from one process become the feedstock for another product. In the forestry sector the discarding of production and harvest residues is considered acceptable. Forestry has a social license to use our valuable land wisely. As countries move to encourage circular economy businesses the individual business resilience improves, waste is reduced and new business opportunities open up. A benefit of this is that more biomass will come available in the domestic market as a biogenic source of carbon to replace the use of fossil derived carbon in the form of coal and gas.

A key place for the Government to start is with its own 1 billion tree programme. More thought needs to be given to the long term value and the efficient use of carbon that can be derived by planting and harvesting these trees. Sequestration of carbon through planting trees and leaving them there is a short term fix if the trees are not going to be part of an ongoing harvest and use strategy. Rotation harvesting and using the trees planted today will result in a new sink being created every 30 years. This sounds like a sustainable carbon sink policy, as well as opportunities for a permanent flow of biomass for energy, bio-based economy, and creation of jobs and regional economic growth.

Brian Cox
Executive Officer

Bioenergy NZ, Australia & the Pacific

Govt can't see our wood for the trees
January 2019, Otago Daily Times article

"When it comes to renewable energy, New Zealand need not look further than its backyard", says Grant Smith (Bioenergy Association chair)

As Government and their advisers work on our climate change legislation and make plans for transformation to a net zero economy by 2050, their focus is on proving that a 100% renewable electricity system can actually work.

Extensive effort and research goes into pump-storage, subsidised solar panels and batteries into every home, and even the conversion of natural gas into hydrogen with carbon capture and storage underground. In essence, it's all getting very complicated yet opportunities using proven technologies are not being fully considered.

Maybe we are not yet seeing the wood for the trees?  We have in New Zealand a wonderful and sustainable renewable resource called wood. It's so good as a resource that we have made many things from wood — pulp, paper, plywood, lumber, laminated beams, fence posts, garden mulch, biogas and liquid transport fuels — it's a wonderful material to work with and has served our economy well for decades with jobs, incomes and even small towns built around these global products...

Read full item here -

We need waste to energy plants
January 2019, The News-Westport, Wesport

Bioenergy Association executive officer, Brian Cox, says waste to energy (WtE) plants must be part of our waste solution.

In a previous The News' article "Waste to energy: 'regrets solution'" (January 9) Lee Scalon suggests that waste to energy (WtE) is a "regrets solution" for the world's waste problem. It suggests that WtE is a temporary fix and could delay the emergence of something better: zero waste practices that eliminate the need for landfill and incinerators.

Brian Cox responds that zero waste is an aspirational goal. It is great to have but highly unlikely to be achieved. However, zero waste to landfill is a realistic goal every New Zealander should be committed to achieving.

He argues that "It would be great if all councils adopted a zero waste by 2040 policy, as Auckland City has done.

The Bioenergy Association is advocating to Government that zero waste to landfill by 2040 should be a nationwide policy"...

More here -

Wood processing clusters will improve value from wood

According to a recently completed Scion project the most efficient use of existing wood resources in regional New Zealand is to cluster wood processors in places with significant forestry resources in Gisborne, Hawkes Bay, Northland and Southland/Clutha. There, they can use forestry residues as feedstock for other products or for heat in wood processors or other industries. The strategy called industrial symbiosis will create jobs, increase GDP and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Scion’s Wood Energy Industrial Symbiosis project has mapped New Zealand’s varying forestry, energy resources and fossil energy-using industries to identify regions where industrial symbiosis clusters of wood processing operations could be co-located with meat and dairy processing, for example...

Read more here -,-december-2018/wood-processors-working-together-for-energy-efficiency

Processing residual waste can lead to a significant reduction in GHGs
Bioenergy Association has updated previous analysis and the new work shows that anaerobic digestion has the potential to eliminate 1,811 kt CO2-e pa of greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. This all can be achieved using well-established technology and existing waste materials with many other associated environmental and socio-economic benefits. The biogas can be used to generate electricity, produce heat, used as a vehicle fuel and be a feedstock for manufacture of bio-based materials, further offsetting greenhouse gas emissions by substituting carbon-intensive fuels and resources. This is 4.6PJ of energy.
To achieve this greenhouse gas reduction requires rethinking how we treat waste and has to be based on three principles;

  • A national policy of zero organic waste to landfill by 2040.
  • Minimise, recycle and reuse as much waste as economically possible. 
  • Aim to extract maximum value from waste by processing residual waste into compost, fertiliser and energy

Information Sheet 47: The role of organic waste and biogas in the transition to a low carbon economy in New Zealand. (this is an update and supersedes Information Sheet 31)

Read the full analysis report here - 

Actions to maximise reduction of methane emissions from waste and achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050
Information Sheet 45 

The Bioenergy Association has undertaken an analysis of what actions would be required to eliminate 1,811 kt CO2-e pa of greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 by treating waste to produce biogas, biomethane and other products.  Information Sheet 45 lists the recommended actions.  These actions are measures complementary to the NZ Emissions Trading Scheme and assist with transformation towards a net-zero emissions economy. The list is a mix of what could be done by a partnership of Government and business.
Read more here -

Bioenergy Australia appoints new Chair
January 2019 

Bioenergy Australia have elected Dr John Hewson as new Chair, replacing outgoing chair Clean Energy Finance Corporation Chief Investment Officer Paul McCartney whose term as chair concluded.

Dr John Hewson is an experienced economist, financial expert and company director and was a former politician. He was Leader of the Australian Liberal Party and Leader of the Opposition from 1990 to 1994.

“I look forward to supporting Bioenergy Australia’s efforts to educate and advocate for change in the bioenergy space to get more projects off the ground and the political support to drive national policies to support investment, employment and growth” states Dr Hewson, Chair, Bioenergy Australia".

Read more here -

Carbon Neutral Advantage in Southland 
Venture Southland
Carbon Neutral Advantage is a three-year initiative led by Venture Southland, in partnership with the Ministry for the Environment and the Tindall Foundation with the aim of bringing together regional leaders and community members to work together towards a low carbon future for Southland. 

Regional greenhouse gas emission assessment and tool for Southland 
To assist with its Carbon Neutral Project Venture Southland is seeking expressions of interest to complete a Greenhouse Gas emission baseline for the Southland region.  The study will cover all sectors and all sources of greenhouse gas emissions in the region and build on work previously undertaken.  Submissions close at 5 pm Fri 1 March 2019. 
For information contact or find on GETS: 20700742

Carbon Neutral Advantage survey
Venture Southland want to hear from Southland businesses to find out what the priorities, challenges, pressures and opportunities are in response to the changing legislative environment (Zero Carbon Act and changes to the ETS ) and the impact of climate change to enable our economy to thrive.  All information will be used in confidence.

More details here -

International Bioenergy News

British Columbia government to ensure more added value wood processing
The Canadian Press, Vancouver
The British Columbia Premier has announced policy reforms to rebuild the wood and secondary timber industries in British Columbia by ensuring more logs are processed in the province.
The forest sector revitalisation plan will be done through incentives and regulation changes. The policy changes include increasing penalties for late reporting of wood waste, and reducing the waste by redirecting it to pulp and paper mills.  The actions will reverse a systematic decline that has taken place in the local wood processing sector over the past two decades. The plan will be implemented through a series of legislative, regulatory and policy changes over the next two years.
More timber can be processed in B.C. and to accomplish that the government will reform raw log export policy, discourage high grading and curtail the export of minimally processed lumber.  “For too long the vision for our coastal forest sector … was to ship our natural resources somewhere else,” the Premier has stated. Employment has declined by 20 per cent, lumber production has dropped by 45 per cent and pulp production by 50 per cent while log exports from Crown lands have increased by nearly tenfold, impacting communities profoundly, he said.  “To continue on the track that we are on with respect to leaving too much waste in the woods and shipping too much product offshore without any value added to it is not sensible and it's not sustainable.”

More here - 

British Columbia vows to curb raw log exports wood waste with sweeping policy reformsBritish Columbia logs are required by law to be manufactured domestically, but there are exceptions. Raw logs are subject to a "surplus test," where loggers must first advertise logs to the domestic market. If there are no fair offers, the logs can then be sold and shipped overseas. In parts of the province where there are few or no processing plants, raw logs don't have to be offered to local industry.

More here -
IEA Bioenergy Task 39 (Liquid Biofuels)
Latest IEA Bioenergy Task 39 newsletter
This issue features two articles on 'Biofuels production and consumption in Canada, advances and challenges'  and 'British Columbia's low-carbon fuels program', a summary of Task 39's significant achievements in 2016-18 triennium and recent reports and news articles of interest to biofuels stakeholders.

More here - 
Options for high percentage biomass cofiring in new power plants
IEA Bioenergy Task 32: Biomass Combustion and Cofiring
This report summarises the presentations of a Task 32 workshop, which was held in Hamburg in June 2009.  The workshop was on increased co-firing percentages for both existing and new plants, with a specific emphasis on next generation co-firing systems.  In the workshop technology developments in relation to next generation co-firing were made indicating the most promising technical concepts.

The presentations include key experiences and figures, and discussed experienced and expected performances.

More here -

Focus on Process Heat
Process heat is the energy used as heat mainly by the industrial and commercial sectors for industrial processes, manufacturing, and warming spaces.  This is often in the form of steam, hot water or hot gases.  Around half of New Zealand's process heat demand is met by burning coal or natural gas.
[source:  Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment]

Process heat consultation
The ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) has produced a technical document for consultation on how greenhouse gas emissions can be reduced in the production and use of process heat.   Submissions to MBIE are due on the 22 February.

All members and those interested in process heat are encouraged to provide your own suggestions on this draft but most importantly make your own a submission as it is important that MBIE get guidance on what those in business think would assist transition from use of coal and gas as fuel for process heat. A draft Association submission is in preparation and is available from the Executive Officer.

Greenhouse Gas reduction using wood energy
Information Sheet 48 - Reducing GHG emissions to achieve "zero carbon by 2050" using biomass energy for industrial and commercial heat

Bioenergy Association has updated its analysis of how much coal and natural gas could be replaced by biomass fuel. The analysis shows that with appropriate assistance and policies 20PJ of fossil fuel could be replaced by biomass fuel resulting in a greenhouse gas emissions reduction of 1.8Mt CO2 – e pa.

The analysis looks at the success of transition from using coal that has been occurring over the last few years and shows how an orderly demand pull from small/medium sized heat plant will assist grow the wood fuel supply sector. Later in the period under analysis as the biomass fuel supply sector has expanded the sector will have the capabilities to support the transition of larger plant from their use of fossil fuels. Cofiring is an important part of this pathways as it allows the continued use of existing plant while assisting the growth of the fuel supply.

The analysis assumes that therere is adequate biomass potentially available as fuel in all regions and increased demand will encourage expansion of the biomass fuel supply. This arises as sources of biomass from forestry, wood processing and agricultural sectors will  widen with increased demand.  The strength of the growth is that production of heat from combustion of biomass uses proven technologies.

More here -
New Zealand joins International Standards Organisation committee on solid biofuels
Bioenergy Association has become an observer on the international committee (ISO/TC 238) which develops and maintains solid biomass fuel standards. Participation can be remote and with such international experts on the Committee there is no need for our direct participation – being an observer will be adequate. As an observer we can now see what international standards are being developed and it extends our linkages to the relevant international experts.

For more information  
Kaituna Sawmill - a smoothly automated boiler operation
A sawmill tucked away in a forested corner near Blenheim is now fully automated and the boiler operator monitors his "babies" from home, with a real-time camera in the boiler fire streaming live to his cellphone. A software expert does repairs remotely from Europe.

Read more here -


Forthcoming Events
NZ Biochar workshop:  Biochar for beef, diary and avocado health and productivity
Wednesday 6th and Thursday 7th March 2019, Dung Beetle Innovations, 42 Totara Road, Whenuapai, Auckland

The Australian and New Zealand Biochar Initiative Inc and Dung Beetle Innovations will hold two workshops over two days on Wednesday 6 and Thursday 7 March 2019 from 10am to 2.30pm. 

Key speakers: Doug Pow an Innovative Beef & Avocado Grower who is getting great success with both his cattle and avocados using biochar.
Melissa Rebbeck, a researcher who has tested biochar to improve pastures and is now working on milk quality in dairy cattle by feeding them biochar, and
Shaun Forgie, a world renowned dung beetle specialist, he will present on what species of dung beetles are doing well in NZ soils and his experience with biochar.

Registration: Free entry +$10 for lunch.  Limited places available.
Register now at
2019 Just Transition Summit
Thursday 9th and Friday 10th May 2019, New Plymouth, New Zealand

The Just Transition National Summit, to be held in Taranaki in May 2019, is a chance to have your say in defining what a just transition to a low emissions future looks like in New Zealand, and what steps to we need to take towards a new kind of economy with good, high paying jobs.  New Zealand has some decisions to make about its future – its environment, the ways we live and work, and its economy.

More details here -
Australia New Zealand Biochar Conference & Study Tour 2019
1st ANZ Biochar Study Tour
Sunday 20 - Tursday 22 October 2019
The Green Triangle Region S.A./Victoria, Australia

The 3 day Study Tour at great locations in Mt Gambier and Tantanoola, South Australia and Portland, Victoria (the Green Triangle Region) will be Sunday 20 to Tuesday 22 October. Study Tour Intent is to attract and involve potential commercial scale users of biochar. Delegates will learn the practicalities of using biochar at commercial scale and be empowered with knowledge and contacts to become a new commercial scale activist user of biochar.
More details here  

3rd ANZ Biochar Conference
Thursday 24 – Saturday 26 October 2019
Melbourne Metropolitan Region, Australia

The 3 day Conference will be held in the Melbourne Metropolitan Region, often referred to as ‘cultural capital of Australia’ and is hosted by the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT University), at their historic Melbourne City Campus with a field trip to Templestowe & RMIT’s laboratories. The event will be held from Thursday October 24 to Saturday October 26.  
More details here - 


Bioenergy Knowledge Centre
Resources in the Bioenergy Knowledge Centre can be accessed free by members and by purchase by non members at
Not a member? - Then give us a call on 0274 771 048 or email us at to discuss your needs.  
View the latest resources added to the Bioenergy Knowledge Centre below.

New report investigates the opportunities for green gas in NZ
Gas infrastructure futures in a net zero New Zealand

A report prepared by Vivid Economics evaluates low carbon options for New Zealand around the use of gas infrastructure.  One of the scenarios is based on green gas which in this study includes hydrogen and biogas.  The report raises a number of aspects which are recommended for additional investigation.

Read full document here -

Safe storage of wood pellet and wood chip fuel
Research report by Health and Safety Executive

Research was undertaken to:  obtain information on how wood pellets and wood chips are stored before use; to ascertain how the build-up of carbon monoxide in storage is controlled; to find out what health and safety information suppliers and users have with regard to the storage and use of wood pellets/chip; to obtain data with regard to the levels of carbon monoxide and other relevant gases in wood pellet/chip storage areas; and, to produce a report that includes an initial view on best control practices and procedures for use within the industry.

Read more here -

Bioenergy Association Meetings 2019
Board Meetings
12.30  to  3.00pm

Tuesday, 19 February
Thursday, 9 May
Tuesday, 13 August
Tuesday, 19 November
Annual General Meeting
5.00 to 7.00pm in Wellington

Tuesday, 22 October
(meeting date may change as an event is identified)
Biogas Interest Group
3.30pm to 4.30pm

Wednesday, 27 February
Wednesday, 10 April
Wednesday, 17 July
Wednesday, 6 November
Wood Energy Interest Group
2.00 to 3.00pm 

Wednesday, 6 March
Wednesday, 17 April
Wednesday, 24 July
Wednesday, 13 November
Liquid Biofuels Interest Group
2.00pm to 3.00pm

Thursday, 14 March

Meetings will be by teleconference with other meetings being scheduled as required.

Improved promotion opportunities for Members
Reminder - work with us to promote your business

Contribute to growing the sector and setting best practice standards
The Association is a collective of people who believe that by working as a group we can make more progress than by acting individually. A quarter of membership fees is a contribution to a pool of money to fund activities to grow the sector and develop best practice standards.  If you want to work with others to ensure that bioenergy solutions contribute to a sustainable future you should join the Association. 

Support to grow your business
The Association provides individual and confidential support to its members to assist them grow their business. If you have a bioenergy related matter where you would like assistance contact the Executive Officer.  This could be related to the market, support for individual proposals or discussion with an independent person the business case for a proposal.
Extend your profile through workshops and webinars
Participate in Association hosted webinars and workshops to extend your profile and your network of others in the sector.  As a webinar speaker you can extend your network of contacts.  If you have a topic which you would like to lead a discussion on contact the Executive Officer who will assist you prepare the idea for a webinar.  As a member this is free exposure to hundreds of potential attendees you wouldn't otherwise reach.

News and advertising of products and services
Members are welcome to provide news for the Bioflash.  The Bioflash is sent to around 900 recipients across the sector each month.  If you have a product or service or have participated in a project you would like to shout about then find the news angle and we will share it with hundreds of readers of the Bioflash.

Contact an Expert
Members are listed in a Contact an Expert directory. Each member has an associated profile page where NZ and Australian specific information, case studies, contact details etc are set out. The size of the profile depends on membership levels - Silver and Gold Members get a larger profile.  See examples here

Members should:
  • check their online company profile - are your profiles upto date and nd relevant to the Australasian markets?
  • check your online project case studies - do we have them?
  • are the projects you have been involved with listed in the Bioenergy Facilities Directory?
  • is your expertise appropriately described?
Members may now also advertise brands and products through advertising on the website.
  • advertising - the new sites have dedicated advertising space - contact us  for more.

Promotion of products and services
The suite of Association websites provides opportunities to improve promotion of members' products and services.

Members are able to promote products in the equipment catalogues on the relevant website. A number of products listings are free to members according to the level of membership.

Contact to have your profiles updated or replaced.   Also ask us about advertising packages and rates.

The association has set up discussion groups on LinkedIn. These are for members to communicate more widely with the public.  Join the discussion group  

Bioenergy Association welcomes news, advertising and articles from members.
Contact the
 Executive Officer.

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