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Source: New Zealand Government

A new partnership between the Government and Oji Fibre Solutions could boost the development of sustainable wood products, hydrogen and bio-fuels at the Kinleith Mill near Tokoroa, creating jobs and reducing emissions across the economy Forestry Minister Stuart Nash announced today.

“In order to build a low-emissions, high-wage economy, we need to explore innovative and sustainable solutions across all sectors. In the wood processing sector, there is the opportunity to integrate bio-manufacturing, which means producing bio-energy and high value bio-chemicals through the development of an advanced bio-economy manufacturing cluster,” Stuart Nash said.

“Oji Fibre Solutions is a world-leader in pulp, paper and packaging products, and the Kinleith Mill employs over 500 people in the South Waikato. This joint feasibility study is the perfect opportunity to think differently about the way we process wood in New Zealand, to tap into the bio-economy, and harness the valuable by-products of wood fibre.

“Throughout this study, we’ll investigate how we can make high-value and sustainable bio-products from wood. This could create high-wage, highly-skilled jobs as well as unlocking regional economic opportunities and ultimately building a productive, sustainable and inclusive bio-economy.                                       

“This partnership is one of the first tangible actions from the draft Forestry and Wood Processing Industry Transformation Plan I launched in August. A key focus of the Plan is how to add value to the forestry sector by processing logs domestically rather than sending them off-shore for other countries to extract value.

“The forestry and wood processing sector has significant growth potential, and innovative ways of thinking like this study will help will help the sector decarbonise, support local job creation and drive the circular economy,” Stuart Nash said.