As a Kiwi company, we believe we have a backyard worth looking after. Fuel burned for transportation makes up around 17 per cent of New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions. This means that Z is currently part of the climate change problem, and we’re not comfortable with that. We want to instead be at the heart of the solution.
That is why we’re spending $26 million dollars to build New Zealand’s first commercial scale biofuels plant, and bring biodiesel to market.
We know that this alone won’t solve everything, but small steps lead to giant strides, and for us it’s a meaningful step towards reducing New Zealand’s reliance on fossil fuels.
The biodiesel plant, which Z is building in Wiri, is now in the final stages of construction. “Build it safely” has always been front of mind for everyone, so we’re particularly proud of how we’ve been able to achieve all of this with zero lost time injuries to date.
The plant will turn inedible tallow, a by-product of the New Zealand meat industry, into 20 million litres of biodiesel a year, with the potential to scale production up to 40 million litres a year.
Overall completion of the build will be complete in May and the plant will move into its testing phase. We aim to start supplying our customers in the Auckland, Waikato and Bay of Plenty region with New Zealand-made biodiesel from around the middle of 2016.
We invested in this plant, even in the absence of a government incentive, because it was important to us to do the right thing, and also important to many of our large commercial customers (some of whom are also our suppliers!) who have been increasingly asking for lower carbon options.
Support from customers such as Fonterra, New Zealand Post, Fulton Hogan, Downer and TIL, who are thinking about their own sustainability commitments, has really helped us to be bold enough to invest in bringing biodiesel to market.
Z’s B5 biodiesel blend (up to five per cent biodiesel blended with ordinary diesel) works across commercial, industrial and retail diesel vehicle fleets. It’s a ‘drop in’ fuel that generally doesn’t require anyone to do anything differently with their diesel vehicles because it meets the same, strict fuel specifications as ordinary diesel. So it’s a really easy, hassle-free way for our customers to take their own small steps towards their sustainability goals.
If you’d like to take behind the scenes look at the plant, check out this video here: