DB Breweries is planning to switch its brewery at Timaru onto wood chip by the end of next year as part a plan to halve the group’s emissions by 2030. Thee company operates six breweries around the country. But DB Draught’s plant at Timaru is the biggest user of coal-fired steam and thus the single- biggest contributor to the group’s emissions.
A DB spokesperson says Timaru is the logical focus given it accounts for most of the steam emissions, which in turn accounted for almost a third of the group’s carbon footprint last year. In 2018, natural gas use across the group was the biggest contributor at 34 percent, with electricity at 18 percent, transport fuel at 7 percent, refrigerant losses at 5 percent and LPG at 4 percent.
DB is looking to switch entirely from coal-fired steam, which it says would require almost 3,000 tonnes of wood chip a year. It is still considering its options for that supply, but expects it will be a forestry residue by-product.
Capitalising on DB’s decision, Bioenergy Association says woodlot owners could look to local biofuel markets as an alternative to exporting logs – “Recent news that the log export logs to China are dropping off and harvesting of some trees for export is unprofitable means woodlot owners could look to new outlets for their wood. Using the wood to make wood fuel is one of those immediately available options – and it requires no research,” says Brian Cox, executive officer of the Bioenergy Association.
His comments come after reports of New Zealand logs piling up at ports in China as other wood makes its way by train into the People’s Republic from Russia and Scandinavia.
“The growing demand for wood fuel to replace coal and gas is a potential opportunity for woodlot owners close to industry requiring process heat to move their farm from being only a food producer, to being a food plus fuel producer. ” Mr Cox said. “With large energy users such as Christchurch and Otago hospitals, Fonterra and DB Breweries transitioning to use wood fuel means that for some farmers there is a potential revenue stream waiting fo them to pocket if they live near to one of these sites.”
In addition farmers can use bioenergy as a tool for offsetting the biological emissions from their animals. The BioenergyAssociation has identified that 1.8Mt CO2-e of greenhouse gases could be reduced by using wood fuel instead of coal and gas.
Mr Cox said that “Using our logs within New Zealand for timber or fuel, instead of unprofitable exporting, should be on ever tree growers radar so that their business resilience is improved.”
Source: Scoop News