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New system to provide heat to wood pellet manufacturing plant started in Taupo, NZ

Heat plant set up at Taupo, New Zealand (source: Contact Energy)
Alexander Richter 14 Nov 2019

A new heat plant providing geothermal energy to a wood pellet manufacturing plant in Taupo, New Zealand has started operation.

In a release Contact Energy and Nature’s Flame announce that they have today turned on the system that provides geothermal energy to the wood pellet manufacturing plant based in Taupo, New Zealand.

Contact and Nature’s Flame began construction on a new heat plant and supporting pipeline infrastructure in July 2019, and the system has now been established as fully operational. Contact’s Chief Generation and Development Officer James Kilty, says the plant starting to operate is a good news story for the benefits of geothermal energy.

“Contact now provides direct heat energy from our geothermal facilities to the Nature’s Flame plant which dries wood fibres for wood pellet production. The wood fibres are a carbon neutral alternative to fuels such as coal, gas and oil. So we are helping to replace an emissions heavy energy source with an environmentally friendly alternative, all while using a renewable energy source.”

“We are thrilled by the outcome of this deal with Contact. With our new energy supply system getting to operational status, we are able to increase to 100% of capacity, creating new jobs in the Taupo region. We are now receiving 18MW of heat continuously, which is fuelled by a low carbon renewable source,” says John Goodwin, Nature’s Flame Operations Manager.

Mr Kilty says, “Partnerships like this one with Nature’s Flame are at the core of our ambition to lead the energy sector to a low-carbon future. We believe climate change is real and the greatest challenge of our time, but also our greatest opportunity. We want to be working with other commercial and industrial customers to form partnerships that help to reduce emissions for New Zealand.”

Source: Contact Energy release