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Fat-fuelled NZ plant nears commercial scale

In New Zealand animal tallow biodiesel producer Ecodiesel is raising further funds to complete its full-scale commercial plant in Onehunga.

The company eyes an extra NZ$4.5 million (€2.25 million) capital. It already operates a $4.7 million pilot plant running on tallow it sources from the meat processing industry.

The plant is a staged development and would eventually supply retailers with 20 million litres of biodiesel a year, a minor portion of the 3 billion litres of diesel consumed annually in New Zealand.

New Zealand biodiesel and fuel company standards allow a 5% blend of biodiesel in retail sales.

The Green Party is proposing a Biofuel Sustainability Bill to create standards for biofuel production, to ensure it is not made from food crops or ways that destroy animal habitats. The bill requires biofuels sold in the country from next May to be approved under certain criteria.

Bioethanol was introduced to the pumps in New Zealand through petrol retailer, Gull, but the country is the only one in the OECD that does not offer biodiesel at the pump.

Chief executive Gary Brockett says that while Ecodiesel’s product was the only viable product on a commercial (retail) scale for the next few years, New Zealand had a lot of potential for smaller renewable energy opportunities.




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