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Environmentally-friendly Waste Treatment Plant Proposed For Manawatu

New Zealand’s first pyrolysis plant for environmentally-friendly conversion of plastic and commercial waste is a step closer to reality.

Bioplant Manawatū New Zealand Ltd (BPMNZ) has applied for resource consent from Horizons Regional Council to move ahead with its plans, and has worked with Manawatu District Council to identify a preferred site at Kawakawa Road in Feilding which will complement the newly developed Resource Recovery Centre on the adjacent site.

Pyrolysis is an environmentally-friendly alternative to incineration and has been used internationally for many years. The plant will use pyrolysis to process municipal solid waste that has had all the recyclable material removed, with the end products (synthetic diesel and biochar) being sold commercially, and waste heat being converted into electricity.

Combustion gases from the process are then treated before being discharged into the air in line with environmental standards.

BPMNZ is partnering with Australian-based Global Green International Investments (GGII) to build the plant, which will be similar to those installed by GGII overseas, including South Korea’s Hankook Tyre Factory.

On a daily basis, the site will be capable of processing up to 40 tonnes of dry waste, producing up to 14,000 litres of diesel, 1.9 MWh of electricity and 2.5 tonnes of biochar. Much of the waste fed into the plant would otherwise be destined for landfill.

An independent assessor’s report (by Pattle Delamore Partners) commissioned by Horizons last year concluded that emissions from the plant would be “less than minor,” meaning that the air quality around and in the immediate zone of the plant would meet both National Air Standards (NESAQ) and local regional standards.

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As directed by Horizons, BPMNZ has already consulted on its plans with leaders and representatives of iwi and hapu throughout Manawatū, including Ngati Kauwhata which holds mana whenua on the proposed site.

BPMNZ Chair Kieran Pollard said the company has already discussed its plans with central as well as local government, and the pending introduction of pyrolysis technology to New Zealand has been received favourably.

“Pyrolysis is the most scientifically effective and efficient process available to mitigate the impact of plastics upon the New Zealand environment, and this plant will help Manawatu District Council meet its long-term Greenfield Vision.

“The technology is proven internationally and has been used successfully in Japan and South Korea over the past decade. BPMNZ’s scientifically monitored and managed process will ensure excellent results for the people of Manawatu.”

GGII founder and Chair, Allan Clarke, said GGII was delighted to partner with BPMNZ and be part of the centre of excellence to help minimise waste in New Zealand.

“GGII is proud to be the exclusive supplier to a number of global public companies helping rid the world of landfills and incinerators, and helping clean our oceans of plastics. We support and work with NGOs and ocean plastics groups throughout the world, including Clean-Seas and the Alliance to End Plastic Waste.”

BPMNZ Consultant Taupo Tani, who is leading the engagement with iwi on the project, says the plant will be a game changer as New Zealand deals with a growing waste issue.

“Too much of our plastic waste has to be dumped in landfills. With pyrolysis we have an opportunity to address this problem and make a real contribution to improving Aotearoa New Zealand’s environment.”

Independent scientist Dr Peng Koh of Viroment Technologies NZ said the pyrolysis system is highly versatile. “Its modular nature means production can be doubled without significant extra capital outlay. It can also handle a wide range of feedstock such as wood waste, human waste, organic waste, non-recycled plastics and other non-recycled carbonaceous material."

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