New Zealand, Australia, Sustainability, Trends

New Zealand: Woodchips replace coal as fuel of choice at McCain factory

It has been three years in the making, but now Timaru’s McCain plant is making chips with a woodchip boiler system instead of coal, reducing waste by 20% and making it a leader in the industry.

As Maddison Gourlay reports for, McCain’s Timaru plant was recognised as a Climate Action Leader by the Sustainable Business Network, a social enterprise to help New Zealand businesses move into more sustainable models.

The network recognised the company’s efforts with an award for “new initiatives and innovative technologies”, McCain Timaru plant manager Jordan Jurcina said. The company has spent $5.6 million to convert its coal boiler to burn domestically sourced woodchips, and implemented a heat recovery system, using mechanical vapour recompression (MVR), to reduce steam demand, he said.

Energy and resources minister Megan Woods visited the plant in November. “It has been really great to see it in action, and for a carbon emissions’ reduction by around 30,000 tonnes per year is incredible,” Woods said.

Source: Read the full story and watch a video here
Photo: Energy and resources minister Megan Woods visited the McCain Timaru plant to see the woodchip fired system in action. Also pictured, from left, are engineering project manager Lenard Smythe, plant manager Jordan Jurcina, and McCain Asia Pacific and South Africa regional president Louis Wolthers. Courtesy and credit John Bisset/STUFF

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