Forestry sector stands to gain major economic boost

  • Jo Goodhew
Primary Industries

Associate Primary Industries Minister Jo Goodhew has welcomed the announcement of a government and industry research study that could rejuvenate New Zealand’s forestry industry.

The 14-month project will study the feasibility of making biofuel from the waste product of forestry harvesting and processing. Material including sawdust, bark and harvest residue currently has little or no value, but could be a valuable new revenue stream if it can be commercially converted into biofuels.

“This study is potentially the first step in a very exciting new revenue stream for the forestry industry,” says Mrs Goodhew.

“If this waste material can be used as the source of commercial biofuel production, we will be able to maximise the return from every harvested tree in New Zealand.

“This would make a significant contribution to grow the value of our vibrant forestry sector and provide another boost to New Zealand’s wider economy.

“It would also mean improved economic resilience for our valuable forest industry – from landowners and forest owners to wood processors, and increased employment and regional prosperity in regions that rely on forestry operations and processing.”

The $13.5 million ‘Stump to Pump’ project has been approved for funding through the Primary Growth Partnership managed by the Ministry for Primary Industries. Government funding is half of the total investment.

More information on how the PGP is driving innovation in the primary sectors can be found here on the Ministry’s website.