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National Wood Conference to Focus on Bioenergy

National Wood Conference to Focus on Bioenergy

The Forest Industry Engineering Association (FIEA) will kick off the New Year in 2011 with a renewed focus on converting wood wastes and renewable resources into valuable bioenergy products.

The upcoming Residues to Revenues conference series is focused on the experiences of a growing number of process energy and heat users of bioenergy.

“Thanks to the focused efforts of the EECA wood energy projects team there has been a widening of the potential customer base for forest products companies selling renewable energy, particularly bioenergy from wood. Our 2011 conference will highlight this and other opportunities for both users and suppliers of biomass,” says John Stulen, FIEA’s event director of Residues to Revenues.

“We have seen growth and diversification in wood energy markets as wood producers move to better understand the needs of their bioenergy customers. As a result we have some great case studies – from the customers’ perspectives – which feature in the upcoming industry conference,” said Mr Stulen.

The Residues to Revenues Conference will feature an international keynote speaker from John Deere Forestry in the United States. As former Director of Public Policy for John Deere Forestry, Nathan Clark has worked for many years with government officials to influence public policy in regards to renewable energy.

Mr Clark will explain the vision and role of their subsidiary company – John Deere Renewables, and will highlight the commitment made by the company to many aspects of renewable energy; well beyond the biomass harvester they are most well known for.

There will also be a focus on recent developments in pyrolysis technologies for producing various products including biochar, and a wider range of outputs. Several key developments are now in the final stages of commercialisation and as a result there will be at least one full session devoted to this fledgling-but-now-proven technology.

Dr Jim Jones from the New Zealand Biochar research centre at Massey University will report on New Zealand Biochar research and Adriana Downie of Pacific Pyrolysis in Australia will cover commercial biochar developments.

Those attending the Rotorua event will see a live demonstration of the operating pilot pyrolysis plant at Lakeland Steel. Originally targeted at sawmillers with wet wood sawdust waste flows, the capability of this pilot plant has been extended to use several different waste streams to produce its three bio-products.

Don Roberts a senior executive with major Canadian bank CIBC will summarise global changes in forest biomass since 2009. Mr Roberts runs an investment group within CIBC’s North American operation focused solely on clean technology – of which bioenergy from wood is a key part. Mr Roberts will give a valuable global perspective to this Australasian event, with his global expertise in clean technology developments.

Finally, there will be sessions including government officials and invited ministers from key state agencies relating to bioenergy from wood. This will give delegates the opportunity to gauge where future government policy is likely to head in respect to woody biomass incentives for market development.

The FIEA conference will be held on 30/31st March at the Distinction Hotel in Rotorua. For full programme information see www.woodresiduesevents.com

ENDS

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