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Wood Pellet Mill Will Help Improve Air Quality

1 July 2005

Wood Pellet Mill Will Help Improve Air Quality

The Ministry for the Environment says it welcomes the news of the opening of a new wood pellet mill in Rotorua later this year by renewable fuel manufacturer, Nature's Flame.

Pellet burners are a highly efficient and clean form of home heating. The wood pellets burned in them are produced from pine wood residue.

The Ministry's Working with Local Government General Manager, Sue Powell, says that, outside of Auckland, home heating is the main cause of urban air pollution.

"A number of urban areas in New Zealand breach the new air quality standard for fine particles," Sue Powell says.

"That's why the Ministry last year introduced the first national environmental standards for air quality.

"The new standards have to be met by 2013. All new wood burners installed after 1 September 2005 have to meet a new design standard, and pellet burners easily meet these new requirements."

Sue Powell says wood pellets are also carbon neutral in terms of New Zealand's Kyoto commitments on limited greenhouse gas emissions because the pine wood residue comes from a renewable energy source.

The Ministry is recommending pellet burners as a result of its Warm Homes project looking at how to encourage people to use improved insulation and cleaner home heating, she says.

"Pellet burners will be installed as part of the Warm Homes trial in Tokoroa, and we will test their emissions to confirm their performance.

"The lack of a local fuel supply has limited the introduction of pellet burners to the North Island. The Rotorua mill will meet the growing demand for quality fuel to help us have warm, healthy homes, while providing jobs for the local community."

ENDS


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