A new partnership between the government and Oji Fiber Solutions could boost the development of sustainable wood products, hydrogen and biofuels at the Kinleith plant near Tokoroa, creating jobs and reducing emissions across the economy, announced today Minister of Forests Stuart Nash.
“In order to build a low-emission, high-wage economy, we need to explore innovative and sustainable solutions across all sectors. In the wood processing sector, there is an opportunity to integrate biomanufacturing, which means producing high-value bioenergy and biochemicals through the development of an advanced bioeconomy manufacturing cluster,” said Stuart Nash.
“Oji Fiber Solutions is a global leader in pulp, paper and packaging products, and the Kinleith mill employs over 500 people in South Waikato. This joint feasibility study is the perfect opportunity to think differently about how we process wood in New Zealand. , to tap into the bioeconomy and exploit valuable wood fiber by-products.
“Throughout this study, we will investigate how we can make high-value, sustainable bioproducts from wood. This could create highly skilled, well-paying jobs, open up regional economic opportunities, and ultimately a productive, sustainable environment and inclusive bioeconomy.
“This partnership is one of the first tangible actions of the Forest Industry and Wood Processing Transformation Plan project that I launched in August. One of the main objectives of the plan is how to add value to the forestry sector by processing logs domestically rather than sending them offshore for other countries to derive value from.
“The forestry and wood processing sector has significant growth potential, and innovative ways of thinking like this study will help decarbonize the sector, support local job creation and boost the circular economy” , said Stuart Nash.
(With contributions from the New Zealand government press release)