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Fonterra opts for Z Energy's new biodiesel

NZN 1/07/2016 Fiona Rotherham

Fonterra is one of six cornerstone customers switching to Z Energy's new biodiesel produced from meat industry tallow.

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.

Half of that annual production will be taken by six large commercial customers including Fonterra, Air New Zealand, TIL (Transports Investment Ltd), Fulton Hogan, Downer, and South Fuels.

Fonterra chief operating officer global operations Robert Spurway said the shift to biodiesel is part of a move towards greater efficiency and sustainability across its operations.

It has the potential to reduce emissions for Fonterra's milk tankers using the fuel by up to 4 per cent a year, he said.

"Fuel burned for transport contributes up to 20 per cent of New Zealand's total greenhouse gas emissions, so given our scale, it's important we play our part to help the environment," he said.

Fonterra will be the first company to adopt the new fuel, with Edegcumbe being the first of five sites to make the switch in its tanker fleet. The fuel will be available from Taupo to Warkworth.

Z Energy said the remainder of its production will be sold through selected service stations in the upper half of the North Island.

At current production levels the plant will only use 10 per cent of the country's available tallow and Z Energy said there is the potential to build more plants in other parts of New Zealand if demand warrants it.

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