Toilet and tissue paper production in Kawerau, NZ to shift towards geothermal

Toilet and tissue paper production in Kawerau, NZ to shift towards geothermal Kawerau geothermal complex with industrial partners, New Zealand (source: NTGA)
Carlo Cariaga 5 Nov 2021

The transition to geothermal heating by the Kawerau site of Essity could translate to carbon emissions reduction of 6400 tonnes per year

The toilet and tissue paper manufacturing site of Essity in Kawerau, New Zealand, will be converting their heat source from natural gas to geothermal as part of the company’s commitment to reduce their carbon emissions. Geothermal steam will be sourced locally through a partnership with local iwi and  Ngati Tuwharetoa Geothermal Assets.

The Kawerau site of Essity is over 65 years old and has manufactured popular brands of tissue and toilet paper including Purex, Sorbent, Handee, and TORK. They produce over 50,000 tonnes of paper products per year.

The total cost of the transition project is $15.5 million. $1.65 million will be funded by the Government Investment in Decarbonising Industry initiative (GID) fund. This fund comes from a partnership between the government and private sector to accelerate the decarbonisation of process heat while also stimulating the economy and generating employment.

The funding will go towards the design and installation of machine drying hoods that are currently heated by natural gas. With the new drying hoods running on geothermal steam, Essity expects carbon emission reduction of at least 6400 tonnes per year. Aside from the sustainability benefit, the new equipment will also improve product quality and safety according to Paul Honey, Executive General Manager for Supply.

Installation works are expected to commence in first half of 2023 and continue to September of the same year.

Source: Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority