Wood Beca to lead innovative biomass study to power a decarbonised future

Wood Beca is proud to announce their appointment by Fonterra and Genesis Energy as the lead consultant for a concept study on the feasibility of replacing coal with renewable, clean-burning wood pellets. The study is commissioned by Fonterra and Genesis Energy and will be completed in collaboration with the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI).

With a comprehensive understanding of the design and operational complexities inherent in the wood and fibre industry and access to global expertise in biofuels, biochemicals, and renewable power generation, Wood Beca will lead a study on the feasibility of establishing wood pellet production to supply Fonterra’s coal-fired boilers and Genesis Energy’s Huntly coal-fired power generation. The scope of this study includes evaluating the availability of wood supplies, analysing wood pellet technologies, assessing high-level economics, and carbon accounting.

Fonterra and Genesis Energy rely on coal and gas to generate heat and electricity to power their plants. In alignment with their respective strategies to reduce carbon emissions, they aim to transition to sustainable and renewable energy sources.

The newly formed partnership allows sharing of insights and technology to reach CO2 emission target reductions. Wood Beca are looking forward to collaborating with Fonterra, Genesis and MPI on this strategically important project, which continues our commitment to helping our clients meet their decarbonisation goals and accelerate towards a sustainable future. 

Wood Beca’s General Manger – Stuart Mockett, said “The project underpins Wood Beca’s ambition to support our clients in reducing carbon emissions using innovative sustainable practices."

We are excited to be leading this important study for Fonterra, Genesis and MPI which has the potential to significantly reduce New Zealand’s dependency on coal for process heat and thermal power generation. Introducing black pellet technology to New Zealand can significantly decrease the capital outlay to replace coal in these large scale boilers.

This promising technology has the potential to produce less than 10% of the emissions of coal and could help New Zealand accelerate towards its goals for net-zero emissions by 2050.

"We want to support our clients in their efforts to reduce carbon emissions, by increasing our clients’ capabilities to provide clean and reliable energy, minimising their carbon emissions and making a substantial contribution to 2050 net zero goal," said Mr Mockett. 

Wood Beca has served the New Zealand Forest products market for 38 years and are uniquely placed to carry out this study as a multidisciplinary wood processing consultant with detailed understanding of the design and operational complexities inherent in the wood and fibre industry. 

Learn more about Wood Beca’s Bioenergy, Oil & Gas and Wood & Fibre capabilities and experience here.