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Bioenergy Association Statement - WoodScape

13 June 2013

BANZ MEDIA STATEMENT

Bioenergy Association is encouraged by the wood processing sector identification of the value of business opportunities from biofuels.

Recent research undertaken for the forestry and wood processing sector has identified that some emerging biofuel technologies can provide attractive additional revenue streams for existing businesses.

Speaking today, Mr Brian Cox, Executive Officer of the Bioenergy Association of New Zealand (BANZ) said that “BANZ welcomes the release of the Woodco research project (WoodScape) which evaluates a number of possible investment opportunities for the wood processing sector. The report shows that the emerging technologies for producing transport biofuels can be financially attractive as new enterprises. However these would be even more attractive as bolt-ons to existing business which already have the infrastructure and technical capabilities to extend into these new products.”

Mr Cox added “BANZ shares Woodco's belief in the need to pursue new businesses from our international comparative advantage in growing trees. Having new products to support existing traditional wood products will strengthen the financial viability of existing businesses. A more resilient wood processing sector from additional added value processing of biomass within New Zealand will create more employment and improve the economic strength on NZ Inc.”

“In an economic environment where jobs in traditional sectors are fast disappearing we encourage the wood processing sector to look at these new products.”

“The WoodScape results mirror what has already been recognised in Canada and we can apply their experience. The added value processing will also result in greater quantities of wood processing residues being available and these can be used in heat plant to replace coal. The use of wood fuel for the production of heat is already economic in many situations. The ability of wood processors to sell wood fuel to heat plant owners is in itself another revenue stream available to them.”

Mr Cox added that “BANZ, as an industry group, has been undertaking its own analysis of the opportunities and has led the development of an industry driven Bioenergy Strategy. The Strategy indicates that on an economic basis 25% of NZ energy supply could be supplied from bioenergy by 2040. This would be a $6billion industry for New Zealand and would provide jobs and economic stimulus throughout New Zealand.”

ENDS

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