Infrastructure at Refinery New Zealand will play a key role in the future shift to biofuel as signalled by the Government's sustainable biofuels mandate, the publicly-listed company says.
From April 1, 2023, fuel wholesalers will be required to cut the total greenhouse gas emissions for transport fuels they sell by a set percentage each year, by deploying biofuels as a part of their fuel supply.
Energy Minister Megan Woods said the mandate would prevent around 1 million tonnes of emissions from cars, trucks, trains and ships over the next three years and up to 10 million tonnes by 2035 to help meet New Zealand's climate commitments.
A Refining New Zealand spokeswoman said its Marsden Pt site being a large industrial consented area with deep water access and large power and gas connections and a capable workforce has huge potential for biofuels.
"At this stage, our focus is on working with our customers to support the importation of biofuels, and we will continue to monitor how we can play a role in the growth of this industry as government policy develops."
Since the refinery board voted to convert the site into an import-only terminal from April 1 next year, the company has been exploring ways to produce biofuel, sustainable aviation fuel, hydrogen, LNG, and electricity.
Biofuels mandates were common in more than 60 countries having them.
Transport Minister Michael Wood said New Zealand needed to transition to low-emission vehicles, and biofuels would help reduce emissions while that transition was made.
"We're committing to develop a separate mandate for aviation fuel during 2022 given the unique challenges the sector faces.
"The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment is working with Air New Zealand on a feasibility study on the potential for domestic production of sustainable aviation fuel and this will feed into that work," he said.
- by Northern Advocate