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Nature’s Flame to open mill in Rotorua

27 June 2005

Nature’s Flame to open mill in Rotorua

Renewable fuel manufacturer, Nature’s Flame will open a wood pellet mill in Rotorua later this year which will allow the company to supply its low emission renewable energy on a national basis.

Development at the mill site in Vaughan Road, Rotorua, began in February 2005. Once completed the new mill will provide 10-15 new jobs in the area, both at the plant and in the sales and installation of the specially-designed wood pellet fires.

“Home heating is the major source of winter air pollution in New Zealand’s towns and cities. Nature’s Flame wood pellet fires have very low emissions, making them ideal for urban use – particularly relevant given the new National Environmental Standards which will set standards for air quality across the country from September this year,” says Andy Matheson, Managing Director of Nature’s Flame.

Nature’s Flame, a subsidiary of coal producer Solid Energy New Zealand Ltd, already has one mill in Christchurch, and will open the new pellet mill in Rotorua as part of an expansion into the North Island home heating and commercial markets. The Christchurch mill has expanded fast, with significant demand for wood pellets coming from the North Island. The new Rotorua mill will have an annual production capacity of 50,000 tonnes, with an expansion plan in place to take this to 100,000 tonnes a year. The facility will initially produce enough low emissions energy to heat up to 36,000 homes.

Nature’s Flame wood pellets are produced from 100% natural pine wood residues and burn in specially designed pellet fires. Nature’s Flame has worked closely with several North Island companies including Tachikawa Forest Products Ltd to secure wood supply for the factory.

“Following the demise of the giant Maui gas field there is greater pressure on New Zealand’s natural gas supply which is leading to higher prices for gas buyers. In addition, electricity generation capacity is under pressure, especially in dry years, driving power prices to record levels,” Matheson says. “Nature’s Flame is one of the most environmentally sustainable home heating solutions available and we are committed to providing a clean, sustainable and cost effective home heating solution to all New Zealand home-owners.”

ENDS

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