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Speaker at bioenergy conference on Sweden's Low Carbon Plan

8 August 2014

Keynote speaker at bioenergy conference will show how Sweden has managed to adopt a Low Carbon Plan similar to that proposed by Auckland Council

The Bioenergy Association of New Zealand (BANZ) today welcomed the offer of a speaker from Boras in Sweden to be a Keynote Speaker at the conference being held next week in Auckland. Boras has a vision of being a city ‘Free of fossil fuels’ and is using its waste to get it there. Boras has been following a plan similar to that proposed by Auckland Council’s release last month of its Energy Resilience and Low Carbon Action Plan, saying it will help create green jobs and foster economic growth as well as protect the climate.

“The Auckland Council’s Plan will encourage use of our natural resources such as the biomass from forestry and waste, which will open up bioenergy opportunities for business growth and employment that are currently being missed.”

The conference Extraction of Value from Industrial and Municipal Waste is being held at Rainbow’s End on the 14th August. Keynote speakers are from Auckland Council, Boras in Sweden and Enerkem in Canada. Enerkem currently have three facilities commercially producing transport fuel from municipal waste in North America.

Mr Brian Cox, the Executive Officer of the Bioenergy Association said “It is encouraging to see that Auckland can learn from what has been achieved in the city of Boras. They are not just talking about doing it – they are already doing it. If Boras can do it then Auckland can”.

“The Bioenergy Association is encouraged that Boras has assisted business to investigate the opportunities from a full range of solid and liquid wastes. A similar growth in the use of clean technologies in Auckland would also improve Auckland as a liveable city.”

The speaker will be from Borås Energi och Miljö´s (BEM) which provides the city of Borås with district heating, district cooling, biogas, waste management, water and sewage treatment and energy and waste services. They also produce electricity in a combined heat and power plant and their own hydro power stations.

BEM’s mission is to, through research, development and education be the driving force in developing the sustainable city of Boras. By recycling municipal waste they aim to convert the energy of the city´s waste streams in to renewable valuables, and create a city free from fossil fuels. The company has 220 employees and annual sales of SEK 950 million. BEM is a municipally owned company within Borås Stadshus AB.

BEM collects and separates its organic wastes and uses its solid and liquid waste treatment facilities to turn the waste into valuable products. As a result the city has reduced its waste costs and created new business opportunities along with additional employment.

“Everything that has been done in Sweden can be done in New Zealand. Enerkem are also demonstrating that Auckland could soon be able to produce all its transport fuel from our waste.”

Mr Cox said that “New Zealand’s cities produce significant quantities of resource that would otherwise go to waste, yet there are real opportunities to turn this into valuable products. As we move into a post petroleum era these resources are going to be valuable for the production of plastic substitutes, vehicle fuel and bio-based materials.”

Mr Cox added, “Bioenergy is often based on well proven technology and so doesn’t require research or low probability exploration such as for petroleum, but what it needs is facilitation so as to speed up growth of the market. The Action Plan from Auckland Council will provide the necessary stimulus. We now need to look to the international examples of how to do it. We want the conference to be a place where this starts to become a reality”.

“The list of attendees already registered for the conference indicates that we can make a good start. However we can still fit any late registrations in.”

The Bioenergy Association:
• Mission Statement is “to promote the maximum utilisation of all forms of sustainable bioenergy in New Zealand”.
• Vision is that “Bioenergy in all its forms will supply more than 25% of the country’s energy needs, including 30% of the country’s transport fuels by around 2040.”
• Has commissioned work by BERL which shows that the achievement of the vision above is worth around $6billion annually to NZ
• Has over members working across the length and breadth of the various supply chains.

• provides the following services:
o Advocacy: BANZ represents the sector to central and local government to ensure that there is a sound investment environment for bioenergy investments.
o Business services: BANZ hosts a number of webinars, workshops and conferences to bring the most up-to-date information and experiences to members. It also prepares and publishes technical guides and other publications to assist members provide a first class service to their clients.
o Public outreach: BANZ is the voice of bioenergy to the public, the media, and policy makers. We work to assist those of the public interested in bioenergy based initiatives to understand how the use of appropriately trained and experienced people and equipment will allow them to successfully manage risks so as to have successful projects.

• Has four Interest Groups which enables a focus on key areas:
o Liquid Biofuels
o Wood Pellets
o Biogas
o Wood Fuel.

Information on the conference programme and registration is available here
For information on Borås Energi och Miljö´s (BEM) click here, details of their activities click here, and a video of BEM activities is here
For information on Enerkem here


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