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NZ set to become self sufficient in transport fuel

Bioenergy Association of New Zealand
Media Release


4 September 2008


NZ set to become self sufficient in transport fuel

The Biofuel Bill passed by Parliament yesterday will reduce our dependency on imported oil and lessen the cost of transport fuel.

“This is the first step to ensuring that New Zealand is self-sufficient in biofuels,” says Brian Cox, executive officer of the Bioenergy Association of New Zealand. 

The Bill introduces a sales obligation to ensure oil companies selling petrol or diesel also sell a small amount of biofuels.

Mr Cox says recent research shows New Zealand could provide all of its own renewable transport fuel by as early as 2040.

“The passing of the Bill will mean more certainty for biofuel suppliers to enter the market.

“More investors in the market and more innovation will ultimately result in a drop in fuel prices.”

New Zealand has an abundance of resources suitable for producing biofuels, including residues from forest harvests and purpose-grown crops like rapeseed.

“We’re already producing ethanol and biodeisel from whey and tallow. In fact, Fonterra has been producing ethanol for years.”

The Billl included sustainability principles to ensure biofuels produced in New Zealand emit significantly less greenhouse gas than fossil fuels, don’t compete with food production and don’t reduce indigenous biodiversity or adversely affect land with high conservation values.

“Instead of leading to a replacement of food crops, as is a concern in some countries, New Zealand arable farmers will have the opportunity to rotate arable crops with profitable bioenergy crops. Energy crops can also improve soil management,” Mr Cox says. 

Now that the Bill has been passed, potential investors will have the confidence to invest in crops, plants and infrastructure.

“We’re pleased Government has recognised the important role biofuels play in reducing our reliance on the tyranny of the international oil market and fuel prices that are crippling our economy.”


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