New Zealand Biofuels Roadmap takes off

For Immediate Release
09 December 2015

A Scion initiative to understand the true potential of a biofuels future for New Zealand has attracted serious players from industry, government and sector interest groups plus the research community.

The project, called the New Zealand Biofuels Roadmap, sets out to define optimum pathways for large-scale production and use of liquid biofuels in New Zealand. Scion has initiated the project that will run over two years.

“We know that biofuels have much to offer New Zealand,” says Scion’s Clean Technologies Science Leader Paul Bennett. “The benefits are very clear.”

“Reduced transport sector greenhouse gas emissions is top, followed by reduced reliance on imports for our fuel supply, and economic and employment growth through creation of a new industry.”

The project kicked-off last month with a workshop In Wellington involving stakeholders across a complex value chain from policy makers to commercial users.

“At the end of the project we intend to have an action plan for the biofuels sector that aligns investment with positive policy framework and direction in resources, conversion, distribution and use,” said Dr Bennett.

“Key steps in the project are building a quantitative model that can test a range of biofuel scenarios; defining those scenarios using variable feedstock, technology and costs inputs; analysing the model outputs and producing an implementation outcome.

“In a nutshell, what we’re aiming for is a clear way to make biofuels a reality for New Zealand, and with the calibre of the stakeholders already on-board, I’m hopeful we can achieve our aim.”

The project will conclude in late 2017 with a roadmap that will set an evidence-based, stakeholder-agreed direction for New Zealand’s biofuels future.

Current participants in the Scion-led project are Air New Zealand, Bioenergy Association, Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority, KiwiRail, Lincoln University, Massey University, Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, Ministry for the Environment, Ministry for Primary Industries, National Energy Research Institute, New Zealand Post, Norske Skog, Oji Fibre Solutions and Z Energy.

The project team welcomes interest from other organisations who may wish to be involved.