Biofuel Industry News

  • The plant will be constructed in Auckland, pending consents

Biodiesel plant planned for New Zealand

Apr 17 2014 Read 1675 Times

A new biodiesel plant is planned for Auckland, New Zealand, it has been announced. Z Energy has announced plans for a new NZ$21 million (£10.7 million) biodiesel plant that will produce low-emission fuel from inedible tallow feedstock. The facility will have an annual capacity of 20 million litres of sustainable biodiesel.

According to the energy firm, the investment will be made over the 2015 financial year and will aim to produce biodiesel that meets both New Zealand and European fuel standards. The low-emission biodiesel will primarily be made from animal fat, meaning that no crops are needed for its production and the plant will make use of waste products from meat production.

While Z Energy has approved the project, it is still subject to resource and regulatory consents, according to Mike Bennetts, chief executive of the company. Permissions needed include consent from competitors in order for the blending plant to be constructed at the Wiri fuel terminal. 

While other companies have been unable to bring this scale of domestic biodiesel production to New Zealand, Z Energy is hopeful that the plans will go ahead. The plant could ultimately double the amount of biodiesel that the firm produces.

However, it is likely that the biodiesel - which will be blended with mineral fuel - will end up costing up to two cents more per litre. Mr Bennetts said that this price increase is negligible as it is only around one per cent more than what people are currently paying at the pump.

The plan for the new plant has been four years in the making, with Z Energy researching and refining the plans throughout that period. One of the main features of the plan was not to rely on growing feedstock for the production of the low-emission fuel. By producing biodiesel from tallow feedstocks, the company should be able to avoid price fluctuations by entering into long-term contracts.  

Mr Bennetts said that the firm is expecting to receive strong consumer support for the high quality of biodiesel that the plant will produce, especially as the product will be genuinely sustainable. 

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