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Argent Energy welcomes NZ’s move to biodiesel

Argent Energy welcomes NZ’s move to biodiesel

The discussion document on a proposed sales obligation for biofuels announced by the New Zealand government has been welcomed by Argent Energy New Zealand.

The company has been investigating producing biodiesel from tallow (animal fats) in New Zealand for several months but says no firm decision has been made on the location and timing for the construction of a biodiesel plant.

The New Zealand company is a subsidiary of Argent Energy UK, which operates the United Kingdom’s first large-scale biodiesel plant in Motherwell, Scotland. It has recently applied for planning permission to build a second biodiesel plant in Cheshire. That plant would have the capacity to process 150,000 tonnes of used cooking oil and tallow to produce 170 million litres of biodiesel a year.

Argent Energy UK’s development director, Dickon Posnett, has been appointed managing director of the New Zealand company. Mr Posnett has been involved with developing strategies for stimulating investment in the UK and the EU.

In welcoming the government’s discussion document he says if the introduction of biofuels is to be taken seriously as a means of providing a secure fuel supply and helping reduce carbon emissions, legislation should provide the encouragement needed for private investment.

Andy Hunter, chief executive officer of Argent Energy UK, says Mr Posnett’s appointment demonstrates the company’s commitment to developing a biodiesel business in New Zealand.

“We have carefully investigated a number of potential markets internationally and believe that New Zealand is ideally suited as a market for Argent Energy to develop,” he says.

Argent Energy uses state-of-the-art technology developed by BDI – an Austrian firm with collaborative links to the Universities at Graz in Austria - to produce high quality biodiesel.

Wilhelm Hammer, Managing Director of BDI, says he is delighted Argent Energy is actively pursuing the potential of expanding its operations both in the UK and internationally.

“We look forward to continuing to work in partnership with Argent to design and construct its first biodiesel plant outside the UK, in New Zealand,” he says.

Mr Posnett says his first priority will be to complete the study for a production facility. He says it is likely that the optimum size of plant would be capable of processing 75,000 tonnes of raw material a year to produce 85 million litres of biodiesel. This would displace more than 300,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide, the main gas responsible for global warming, he says.

Ends

Argent Energy website: http://www.argentenergy.com


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