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Geothermal key to business sustainability for Kawerau, NZ-based lumber firm

Lumber yard, Kawerau/ New Zealand (source: Sequal Lumber)
Alexander Richter Alexander Richter 20 Sep 2018

Geothermal energy has become a great enabler and key to business sustainability for Kawerau/ NZ based Sequal Lumber. Being able to source wood from sustainable forest paired with drying lumber with geothermal heat has created a unique selling point.

Tapping into geothermal energy, Kawerau/ New Zealand-based lumber company Sequal Lumber has been able to put sustainability right into its business model.

Sourcing wood from sustainable forests in the region, drying wood environmentally friendly with geothermal energy, “completes the picture for customers”, so Rhys Arrowsmith of Sequal Lumber in an article of Sun Live New Zealand.

With increasing international business, the company works in a rather competitive sawn lumber export market, exports account to about 80% of the products sold. With a focus on doing things “differently”, the company has been able to offer about 400 different sizes to meet customer demand.

So while custom cutting is a key element, customers also “place a significant importance on the sustainability and environmental elements … many Asian countries are also developing strong positions around sustainability in forests and timer processing operations.” and so Rhys “geothermal (energy) completes that nicely.”

He also describes the challenge of explaining the role of geothermal energy in its operations and processes, but sustainability and a sustainable product has become a unique selling point for the company.

The company maintains a strong relationship with the supplier of geothermal of Ngati Tuwharetoa Geothermal Assets. The company describes geothermal as a “great enabler”.

The region has pushed a strategy to make use of its geothermal resources beyond electricity generation and has appointed a business lead in geothermal direct use in Andrea Blair. “The direct use happening in Kawerau by businesses such as Sequal show what can be done. We would like to see more business parks created around geothermal, as it suits a wide range of industries such as timber drying, aquaculture, tourism, horticulture and milk drying.”, so Andy Blair.

Source: Sun Live NZ