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Issue 99 – March 2018

Welcome members and friends

Heavy duty cycle transport fuels and greenhouse gas emissions are New Zealand’s main medium term energy challenge. The report by Scion to be covered in an upcoming webinar (see Forthcoming events below) indicate that we have options for transport fuels. We can also assist reduce greenhouse gas emissions by transitioning from coal to wood fuel for heat. We can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by utilising waste and thus reduce the amount of  methane discharged to the atmosphere. In each of these the barriers are not technology but the will by the community to make it happen and a viable feedstock supply chain at the lowest possible cost.

Unlike other renewable energy resources, eg wind and sun, the supply of biomass useable as fuel or feedstock has other competitive uses and complex value chains that involve many different players. However we are addressing these so that they are not a barrier.

The Scion study shows that if we want to address heavy cycle transport fuels then we will have to increase and improve the efficiency of biomass collection and treatment into fuel. This can be done but it will involve land and forest owners thinking differently about some of our land use practices.

In many parts of the country farmers are struggling to dispose of biomass from trees reaching end of life, originally planted for catchment management. Forest harvest residues left on the land can be a problem causing flooding eg the recent Nelson storm. Bioenergy can be a solution to those environmental problems. On the other hand in some areas potential transition from coal to wood fuelled heat is constrained because of the perceived lack of long-term availability of fuel. We need to get improved market interaction between biomass supply and demand.  Accredited Fuel Suppliers are doing that.

A study commissioned by the Bioenergy Association last year shows that there is adequate biomass to meet bioenergy demand in the short term but the market mechanisms are still emerging to ensure demand meets supply.  If we can get the biomass residues market developed in the short-term then this will provide a good foundation for the increased demand for biomass that solving our heavy transport problem requires. Our Accredited Wood Fuel Suppliers are a good start.

What would help most would be if government officials put effort into these domestic greenhouse gas emission reduction opportunities instead of into purchasing international carbon credits.

Brian Cox
Executive Officer

Bioenergy NZ, Australia & the Pacific

Scion has released the report of their Biofuels Roadmap study which shows that New Zealand, if it has the will, could grow its way to a biofuelled transport future.
The study shows that liquid biofuels could be a significant part of the solution for reducing New Zealand’s GHG emissions, increasing our energy security, enhancing regional development, and maintaining access to international markets for our goods and services.
The study was undertaken to inform and stimulate debate on the large-scale production and use of liquid biofuels in New Zealand. Specifically, it sought to understand what a large-scale biofuels industry could look like here, for example: what crops should be grown and where; what conversion technologies should be used; and the key considerations and implications in developing such an industry. Quantitative scenario modelling, coupled with qualitative analysis, was used to ‘look at the future’ and create scenarios of what large scale production and use of biofuels in New Zealand might look like out to 2050 to identify the lowest cost value chain(s) under these different scenarios. 
Key findings from the study were:

NZ could have a biofuelled transport future

  • Large-scale biofuel production and use within New Zealand can happen
  • Biofuels can be a large, longer-term answer to reducing New Zealand’s carbon emissions, particularly for difficult-to-decarbonise sectors such as aviation, shipping and long-haul road freight
  • Large-scale biofuels opportunities must consider the whole value chain
  • Biofuel production could provide strong regional economic development opportunities
  • Drop-in biofuels from non-food feedstocks, particularly forestry grown on non-arable land, is the most attractive longer-term opportunity
  • Government policy support will be needed to kick-start large-scale biofuel production because market forces alone will not be sufficient

Information on the study results:
Report -
Webinar - 15th March 2018. See events listing below
Ralph Sims - Biofuels not easy but worth the effort
Bioenergy Association -  Minister to get the word on biofuels

Renewable diesel fuel opportunity
Miscanthus NZ has partnered with GP International Limited (GPI) to produce renewable diesel fuel (RDF)  from cellulosic feedstocks and make it available in New Zealand. They advise that the first RDF sample is planned to arrive in NZ within a fortnight. Commercial production in NZ is expected to be able to commence in late 2019.

RDF – this is not biodiesel - is a fully sustainable, carbon negative, drop-in diesel fuel which, because of the technology and the resulting co-products, achieves sequestration of more than 1 kg of CO2 for every litre of RDF used. This is in addition to the fossil fuel substitution. It is therefore considerably better in greenhouse gas terms than even NZ electricity.

A similar project is being undertaken in Calgary Canada. (see item below).

They are seeking expressions of interest from parties interested in working with them on this project. Closing date is 9th March 2018. More information is available
News item -
Member profile -

Pioneer to support University’s switch to wood fuel
With help from Pioneer Energy, within three years, the University of Otago will halve its greenhouse gas emissions created by its energy use. An existing 7.6 MW coal fired boiler is being converted to use wood fuel which Pioneer Energy Wood Fuel will supply.
The University uses steam produced by Pioneer Energy at their Dunedin Energy Centre, for heating and hot water in twenty-nine of its buildings, previously produced using coal. The University’s decision to move ahead with the change of fuel enabled Pioneer Energy to begin planning for the full switch to wood fuel.
Pioneer Energy converted the 45 year old coal boilers to wood fuel allowing the co-firing of the boiler house. This has resulted in an increase in boiler performance, efficiency, cleaner handling, and reduction in ash.
Pioneer Energy Wood Fuel will supply University of Otago with 90,000 GJ of seasoned wood chip fuel annually, offsetting the equivalent volume of coal.

BPO Ltd. (BPO)  purchased the assets of ADI Systems Asia Pacific Ltd. (ADI) in December 2017. BPO is 100% New Zealand owned with an extensive involvement in the dairy, environmental technology and wastewater industries.  The ADI team will continue their focus on the design, delivery and operations of industrial and municipal wastewater treatment and waste to energy plants.

Pyrolysis oil progress
Last year Nufuels received grant funding from the Waste Minimisation Fund to undertake further development of the production on pyrolysis oil from using tyres. Pyrolysis technologies are fast evolving and the experience on high carbon tyres will assist developing a capability for pyrolysis of cellulosic materials.

Nufuels, having demonstrated pyrolysis of tyres at an operational scale, have now placed an order for a production machine to be deployed at Foxton.  It is scheduled to be commissioned mid-year. The fuel produced (Kerosel) is suitable for heat loads, can be sold locally at a discount off diesel, and because tyres are 30 – 50% natural rubber is partly a biofuel.

The company has also recently commissioned a 30 litre test rig to experiment with and assess the viability of producing fuels by small scale pyrolysis of the non-chlorinated and brominated waste plastics.  Early results are promising.

Energy Research Strategy for NZ
The National Energy Research Institute recently published Energy Research Strategy for NZ: The Key Issues   It identified heavy duty cycle transport fuels and GHG emissions as one of New Zealand’s main medium term energy challenges, and in particular the need to ensure we have viable supply chains for clean replacement fuels at the lowest possible cost.  Members (and this will involve Bioenergy Association) are now starting work on a business plan for the longer-term R&D New Zealand will need to address this.  The Scion roadmap provides a foundation for the work on transport biofuels, and Scion is leading developments in this area.

Forthcoming Events

Biofuels Strong - empowering dialogue to grow a bioeconomy
6pm Wednesday 28 March 2018,  Mural Hall, Parliament House, Canberra
An invitation to join Bioenergy Australia for martinis and canapés

Spaces for this event are limited so you are encouraged you to RSVP to  as soon as possible.

Further event details are available here  

NZ Biofuels Roadmap webinar

1pm (NZDT) on Thursday 15 March 2018,  by GoToWebinar link
This webinar is an overview of Scion's recent Biofuels Roadmap study which was undertaken to inform and stimulate debate on the large-scale production and use of liquid biofuels in New Zealand. 

Specifically it sought to understand what a large-scale biofuels industry could look like here, for example, what crops should be grown and where; what conversion technologies should be used; and the key considerations and implications in developing such an industry. 

This webinar is for anyone interested in how biofuels could contribute to a sustainable low carbon future.
Use the following link in order to book your place at this webinar

ForestWood 2018 Conference

Wednesday 21 March 2018,  Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, Wellington
ForestWood 2018 is the 5th in the conference series, hosted by Woodco -
9th Annual Congress & Expo on Biofuels & Bioenergy
Dubai on April 16-17, 2018


Bioenergy Association Activities
Business planning
The strategy for growing the sector through utilisation of wood and waste was agreed by the Bioenergy Association Board at the end of least year and its implementation plan is now being addressed.  The Association's bioenergy sector strategy is based on holding the Government to implementation of the New Zealand Energy Efficiency and Conservation Strategy (NZEECS) as a minimum; and developing a plan to achieve the Paris greenhouse gas emission reduction targets instead of purchasing international carbon credits.
War on waste
Associate Minister Eugenie Sage is undertaking a review of the Waste Minimisation Act and has been very vocal that NZ needs to address its waste better. Bioenergy Association has been publicly supporting the Minister's statements.
Encouraging Government to focus on the easy win GHG reduction opportunities
Carbon News obtained official documents that showed how government officials were recommending how the Government should purchase international carbon credits.

Bioenergy Association has encouraged the Government to focus on the easy win greenhouse gas emission reduction opportunities that are available. If greenhouse gas emissions can be reduced then there will be no need to purchase international carbon credits. The money spend to assist reduce greenhouse gas emissions will also assist regional economic growth, create jobs and produce other community benefits. If New Zealand has to purchase international carbon credits then that is leakage of money from New Zealand and provides no benefits other than we can say we meet the Paris based targets.

International Bioenergy News
News items are available from

Both EV and biofuels will be necessary
A new IRENA report for the EU says that both EV and bioenergy will be necessary to reach Paris commitments and that biomass will remain a key energy source till 2030 and beyond.

The IEA Bioenergy Roadmap: Delivering Sustainable Bioenergy
If you missed the recent webinar on delivering sustainable bioenergy it is now available on the IEA Bioenergy website. The webinar provides details of the Technology Roadmap, which re-examines the role of bioenergy in light of changes to the energy landscape over the past five years and recent experience in bioenergy policy, market development and regulation. It identifies the technical, policy and financial barriers to deployment and suggests a range of solutions to overcome them.
Click here to view webinar including discussion and questions

Download presentation

Methane emissions from biogas plants
Excessive fugitive methane emissions from a biogas system are not conducive with the ambition of reducing GHG emissions. The new Task 37 Technical Report addresses methods used for evaluation; presents selected results of measurements; proposes mitigation measures; and puts methane emissions in a context of a standard GHG assessment. The major emitters can be distinguished by structural (the technologies deployed) and operational (plant management) means. The most relevant sources include: open storage or composting of the digestate; the combined heat and power (CHP) engine; leaks; and the pressure release valve. Large quantities of methane emissions have been reported caused by single large leaks or long-lasting pressure relief events. The application of specific monitoring and maintenance and/or the application of specific technologies can reduce emissions. A crucial part of any operation should be a monitoring plan and in particular frequent monitoring of any potential emission sources on site.

How2Guide report for bioenergy
IEA’s “How2Guide” for Bioenergy is designed to provide stakeholders from government, industry and other bioenergy-related institutions with the methodology and tools required to successfully plan and implement a roadmap for bioenergy at the national or regional level. The aim is to provide a comprehensive list of steps and issues to be considered at each phase of bioenergy road mapping and deployment. Selected case studies provide the reader with an overview of the wide array of technology applications that exist. Key drivers for and barriers to the deployment of bioenergy are discussed in detail throughout the report and realistic options for action are suggested, along with tools and useful information sources for decision makers.

Energy technology perspectives 2017
The global energy system is moving closer to a historic transformation. This year's edition of the International Energy Agency (IEA)'s comprehensive publication on energy technology focuses on the opportunities and challenges of scaling and accelerating the deployment of clean energy technologies. This includes looking at more ambitious scenarios than the IEA has produced before. For the first time, ETP 2017 looks at how far clean energy technologies could move the energy sector towards higher climate change ambitions if technological innovations were pushed to their maximum practical limits. The analysis shows that, while policy support would be needed beyond anything seen to date, such a push could result in greenhouse gas emission levels that are consistent with the mid-point of the target temperature range of the global Paris Agreement on climate change

Transport biofuels could grow by over 16%
IEA has published the analysis of renewable energy 2017. Boosted by a strong solar PV market, renewables accounted for almost two-thirds of net new electricty capacity around the world in 2016, with almost 165 gigawatts (GW) coming online. This was another record year, largely as a result of booming solar PV deployment in China and around the world, driven by sharp cost reductions and policy support. The share of renewables in road transport is expected to increase only marginally, from over 4% in 2016 to 4.5% in 2022. Despite strongly rising sales, the share of EVs remains limited, and biofuels are still expected to represent over 90% of total renewable energy consumption in road transport by 2022. Biofuels production is expected to grow by over 16% during over the forecast period. With a more favorable market and policy landscape, biofuel production could be 13% higher.

Renewable diesel fuel to Alberta
Candaxa Energy is working with the Alberta Government to build a renewable diesel fuel facility in Calgary Alberta for the municipal authority’s transport business. The process uses the Proton Power  CHyP technology and uses cellulosic biomass feedstocks.

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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