Genesis & NZ Bio Forestry to explore potential of biofuels
29 May 2023.
Genesis Energy has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with NZ Bio Forestry to investigate the technical and economic viability of bio-fuels and bio-pellets as alternative fuel options for Huntly Power Station.
With stakeholders based in Taiwan and Singapore, NZ Bio Forestry has access to technology that can convert biomass, such as wood waste, into bio-fuels and bio-chemicals to reduce or replace the need for fossil fuels.
NZ Bio Forestry Chief Executive, Wayne Mulligan, says the company is exploring two bio-energy applications.
“We’re looking at producing a high energy source bio-pellet or black pellet to reduce carbon emissions by between 80-90%. This technology could be up and running in the next 12-18 months,” said Mulligan. “We’re also planning bio-chemical refining facilities to develop a similar form of energy, providing another alternative fossil-free energy product.”
“In both cases, we source the wood and forestry residues for conversion from local suppliers. We want everyone to benefit from the potential for forestry from these new applications in bioenergy, biomaterials, and biochemistry.”
Committed to a renewable energy future, Genesis is focused on developing new renewable forms of generation such as solar while also exploring more sustainable fuel options for Huntly Power Station.
Huntly provides vital backup to the country’s electricity system when the intermittent nature of renewable generation is unable to deliver. Earlier this year Genesis conducted a successful burn trial of black pellet biomass at the plant, proving it could power the Rankine units. It also signed a collaboration agreement with Fonterra to explore the viability of a local biomass supply chain, as there is currently no local source of black pellets.
Genesis Energy General Manager Power Schemes, Scott Westbury, is leading the programme looking at alternative fuel options for Huntly and said the agreement with NZ Bio Forestry complemented the work being done with Fonterra.
“Technology is being developed across the world to replace fossil fuels and we think it’s worth taking a close look at what NZ Bio Forestry is doing,” Westbury said.
“Huntly is critical to ensuring electricity supply flows uninterrupted to Kiwi homes and businesses when renewable generation can’t deliver and as the country transitions to a low carbon future. We are working hard to do that using renewable fuel.
“It makes sense to get a better understanding of what NZ Bio Forestry might be able to produce locally and whether it's compatible with the units at Huntly Power Station. If that can be achieved, it’s a win for the country and Genesis in reducing emissions and security of supply.”