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Biomass-fuelled heat plant a win-win-win solution

Thu, 28 Oct 2004

Biomass-fuelled heat plant a win-win-win solution


State Owned Enterprises Minister and Taupo MP Mark Burton is today calling the new Winstone Pulp International/Meridian Solutions biomass-fuelled heat plant a "win-win-win solution."

The plant is fuelled by waste product and has the potential to save four million litres of LPG per year. In addition, Winstone Pulp International has introduced a new pulp screening process that allows them to save power equivalent to the consumption of a medium-sized New Zealand town.

At the official opening in Ohakune, Mark Burton said that the project would deliver commercial and environmental benefits, both locally and for New Zealand as a whole.

"This long-term agreement between Meridian Solutions and Winstone Pulp is an ideal example of the kinds of innovation, imagination, and partnership this government values so highly.

"The majority of the heat requirements for this new energy plant will be fuelled by waste material such as bark and other wood wastes, as well as de-watered and partially dried pulp sludge.

"This will enable Winstone to reduce their LPG consumption by around 4 million litres per year, as well as eliminating the need to dispose of 20,000 tonnes of pulp sludge annually. As a result, there is no need to replace their nearly full landfill, which has instead been re-sown in new forest.

"Reducing LPG consumption and moving away from landfill disposal of pulp sludge provides for a reduction in carbon dioxide emissions in the order of 25,000 tonnes per annum. That's equivalent to saving 600 trucks and trailers of coal per year.

"This is definitely a win-win-win solution - a commercial win for both Meridian and WPI, as well as a huge win for the environment. In a country that's now confronting some serious energy issues, this kind of co-operation, commitment, and lateral thinking can help New Zealand answer the major challenges we face," said Mark Burton.

Total investment in the heat generation plant and new pulp screening process is $12 million, and includes:

· Upgrades to Winstone's sludge de-watering plant
· A steam drier, which uses waste exhaust heat to further dry the waste sludge to improve its value as a fuel, and
· A major upgrade to the wood-waste fuel handling systems that provide fuel for the heat plant.


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