Scion welcomes biofuels research investment

biofuels29 July 2013

Crown Research Institute Scion welcomes research investment in the ‘Stump to Pump’ programme. The 14-month long research programme will receive $6.75 million in Government co-funding through the Primary Growth Partnership.

Stump to Pump partners Norske Skog and Z Energy will match funding of $6.75 million, bringing the project’s total funding to $13.5 million.  

Scion’s General Manager for Sustainable Design, Trevor Stuthridge, says the Stump to Pump programme is a promising initiative that could lead to greater energy security for New Zealand from renewable plantation forestry resources. It also creates a new opportunity for the New Zealand forestry and wood processing industries to diversify their business into energy markets.

“New Zealand currently imports most of its transport  fuels, which are responsible for 20% of New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions.

“At the same time, New Zealand is not extracting the full value of its forests with millions of tonnes of harvest and wood processing residuals returning little value, and large volumes of logs being exported with little value add, said Dr Stuthridge.

The ‘Stump to Pump’ programme aims to create a new market pathway that links low-value forestry and wood processing residuals to new high-value renewable fuel markets. This would also support the solid wood sector by providing a market for wood processing residuals leading to greater onshore processing of logs

The funding for this programme will be used to study the technological and financial feasibility of creating biofuels from forestry and wood processing residues. The study will determine the commercial viability of establishing a modular test plant to produce biofuels.  

“This study is the most significant biofuels initiative in New Zealand’s history – it’s certainly a bold move for the industry, and we are very excited to be involved,” said Dr Stuthridge.

Scion’s research and technology expertise will contribute to the ‘Stump to Pump’ programme throughout the forestry value chain. Over the past decade, Scion has built its capability in areas such as forestry resource assessment, pre-treatment of wood and wood-fibre prior to processing, biofuels production, co-product development and waste treatment. The 2009 Scion-led Bioenergy Options project had identified how several future forestry scenarios could contribute to a viable biofuels industry for New Zealand.