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Biomass Residues

Quick Facts

Forest residues are the leftover parts of trees that remain after harvest and include short sections of stem wood, bark, branches and needles.

Further biomass residues are created as a by-product of the wood processing industry, which is particularly strong in Kawerau.


New Zealand is home to some of the world’s fastest growing trees. With large annual harvests and a strong processing industry, Kawerau produces biomass residues in abundance. Based in the heart of New Zealand’s principal forestry region, we have the ideal location for biomass conversion businesses to prosper.

Welcome to Kawerau,

A special place that has all of the natural resources, as well as the support networks for biomass businesses to flourish. Together, we embrace the future.

  • Smarter
  • Cleaner
  • Together

Industrial Symbiosis Kawerau is a smarter way of doing business by creating efficiencies and opportunities, while tapping into the abundant renewable resources of the region.

New Zealand’s annual forest harvest continues to experience steady growth, driven by an increase in international demand for forestry products, with China’s appetite for raw logs and wood products a major factor. The Central North Island forests surrounding Kawerau provide nearly half of New Zealand’s harvest, resulting in large quantities of biomass residues being readily available in the area. 

Whether from forest harvesting or wood processing, these residues can provide considerable value if they are used as inputs for various industrial operations. In fact, a study conducted by Scion estimates that for each cubic metre of biomass, approximately 130 -140 litres of ethanol or 95 -100 litres of Fischer-Tropsch diesel could be produced. With the cost of transportation escalating, opportunities abound for smart businesses to take advantage of our resources.

We only have one planet. Industrial Symbiosis Kawerau is the answer for contemporary organisations that wish to lower their carbon footprint, optimise resources and help make this world a better place for future generations.

The use of geothermal in place of biomass to provide direct heat in the wood processing industry means residues can be conserved for more beneficial purposes.

For example, renewable diesel and jet fuel can be produced, which readily biodegrades without harm to the environment, and is a safe, high-performance replacement for fossil fuels. Another benefit of biomass residues is that they offer a significant and available resource without the need for new planting or use of additional land.

When compared to the alternatives, biofuels and biochemicals are both valuable and better for the environment.  If we truly care about the world we leave behind, we must embrace cleaner industry.

It takes a unique blend of factors to make industrial symbiosis a viable business model. Kawerau has everything needed for a harmonious relationship.

Kawerau offers a combination of commercial opportunities and access to an abundance of natural resources that is unrivalled in this country. When our affordable housing and enviable climate is combined with the region’s unspoilt environment, it makes for a winning formula.

Nearby, research facility Scion is dedicated to building a stronger bio-based economy, as they continually explore exciting opportunities for adding further value to New Zealand’s plentiful biomass residues.

Meanwhile, with wood processing already acknowledged as crucial to economic development, conditions are ideal for the establishment of biomass conversion businesses in Kawerau.

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