Z Energy has taken its first delivery of inedible tallow to start production at New Zealand’s first commercial scale biodiesel plant located in Wiri, Auckland.
Z Energy has invested NZD 26 million (USD 18.5 million) in the 20-million-litre biodiesel plant, which is now in the commissioning phase. The investment included terminals in Wiri and Mount Maunganui, where the 100% biodiesel will be blended with petroleum diesel to produce a 5% biodiesel blend.
The high quality biodiesel, Z Bio D, will be available in parts of the North Island from September 2016.
While the plant will be just a fraction of the company’s total diesel sales of 860 million litres, Z Energy views it as a start in reducing greenhouse gas emissions from transport.
Around 12% of New Zealand’s production of inedible tallow will be used in the plant.
The plant was also designed to produce approximately two million litres per year of the byproduct glycerol that could end up as a carbon source for the anaerobic treatment of wastewater, although this is still in the experimental stage.
The facility was designed to be “scalable” and can later be expanded to twice the size through the upgrading of the biodiesel batch process.
Z Energy said it has strong corporate support from Fonterra, Fulton Hogan, NZ Post and Downers to use the biodiesel produced from the plant.