New clean technology opens up world markets
Hon Phil Goff
Minister of Trade
20 June 2008
New clean technology opens up world markets for New Zealand business
World-leading environmental technology developed by a New Zealand company could revolutionise the disposal of sludge from waste water, Trade Minister Phil Goff said today.
Mr Goff officially opened Hamilton-based company Enviro-Energy’s new pilot processing plant at the Hamilton Wastewater Treatment Plant, which uses new technology to convert sewage sludge into ash using minimal energy.
“This clean technology, which was developed by the company over 16 years, represents a real breakthrough and could have big implications for the way sludge from waste water is treated and for the company’s export potential,” Phil Goff said.
“Already there has been strong interest shown in the United States, Canada and the UK. The Government is proud to have provided support to Enviro-Energy.
“Instead of trucking and dumping digested sludge in landfills or on agricultural land, this process turns the sludge into an energy source which is used to convert the waste into a low volume, non-toxic sandy ash that has commercial value – for example as a component of roading material.
“This is significant as we see tighter controls on waste management due to growing health and environmental concerns. The process is also energy efficient because once it begins the sludge’s own energy is used to run the system.
“The technology and its progress to commercialisation stage is the result of the company’s good business model and its long-standing commitment to environmental sustainability, which was recognised and led to development and marketing support by the Government,” Phil Goff said.
“Three years ago, the company was funded by New Zealand Trade and Enterprise to participate in the Global Access Programme at UCLA in California, where MBA students developed a comprehensive business strategy and plan to take the fledgling technology to the world.
“Technology for Business Growth (TBG) funding from the Foundation for Research Science and Technology helped with research and development, while subsequent funding from NZTE helped Enviro-Energy patent its technology and start exploring international markets.
“One of those markets has been North America, where millions of tonnes of sludge is disposed of annually. Enviro-Energy was one of 20 companies who accompanied me on a trade mission to the United States and Canada last year. As a result, the company is now in talks with two city authorities that have expressed interest in the systems,” Phil Goff said.