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Biofuel can be good alternative for woodlot owners

With wood not able to be sold in China the alternative of it being used as biofuel can be good for woodlot owners

“The news (Newsdesk 8 July) that the export of logs to China is dropping off and harvesting of some trees for export is unprofitable should result in woodlot owners looking to new outlets for their wood. Using the wood to make wood fuel is one of those immediately available options – and it requires no research.” Says Brian Cox, Executive officer of the Bioenergy Association.

It is reported that New Zealand logs are piling up on Chinese wharves as cheap, sawn timber makes its way by train into the People's Republic from Russia and Scandinavia. Five million tonnes of logs, mostly from New Zealand are sitting on wharves in China unsold.

‘The growing demand for wood fuel to replace coal and gas is a goldern opportunity for woodlot owners close to industry requiring process heat to move their farm from being only a food producer, to being a food plus fuel producer. ” Mr Cox said. “With large energy users such as Christchurch and Otago hospitals, Fonterra and DB Breweries transitioning to use wood fuel means that for some farmers there is a potential revenue stream waiting fo them to pocket if they live near to one of these sites.”

In addition farmers can use bioenergy as a tool for offsetting the biological emissions from their animals. The BioenergyAssociation has identified that 1.8Mt CO2-e of greenhouse gases could be reduced by using wood fuel instead of coal and gas.

Mr Cox said that “Using our logs within New Zealand for timber or fuel, instead of unprofitable exporting, should be on ever tree growers radar so that their business resilience is improved.”

Ends

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