Fonterra, a New Zealand-based dairy cooperative, will be using biodiesel from Wellington-based Z Energy for its tankers.
Z Energy is currently commissioning its $21 million Wiri plant and production is expected to start in mid-July. The plant can produce 20 million litres of biodiesel annually and that can be doubled if the energy company spends another $4 million on the plant.
Fonterra chief operating officer global operations, Robert Spurway said the shift to biodiesel is part of a move towards greater efficiency and sustainability across all operations, and helping Z make cleaner burning biofuel available in New Zealand.
Spurway said: “With more than 550 tankers, our fleet can travel hundreds of thousands kilometres every day on New Zealand’s roads. Our commitment as foundation partners for Z Energy’s biodiesel project means the product will not only be available for our fleet, it also means Z can bring this innovative fuel to the pump for New Zealanders.”
Spurway added that the move to biodiesel has the potential to reduce emissions for the tankers using it by up to 4% each year, and the partnership is an important milestone for Fonterra.
“Our sustainability strategy addresses key efficiency and sustainability improvements, and sourcing clean energy alternatives is a big part of that. We also want to show our support for this kind of innovation so other New Zealanders can make good energy choices,” Spurway said.
He added: “Fuel burned for transport contributes up to 20% of New Zealand’s total greenhouse gas emissions, so given our scale, it’s important we play our part to help the environment. Moving to biofuel is one of the many projects we’re engaged in, like our planting, water quality projects, and energy efficiency programmes - which all focus on environmental sustainability.”
Fonterra will be the first company in New Zealand to adopt the new fuel, with Edgecumbe (a town in the Bay of Plenty of the North Island of New Zealand) being the first of five Fonterra sites making the switch to the lower emission fuel in its tanker fleet.