Globalgreen International

MEDIA RELEASE (9 Mar22) Manawatu Pyrolysis proponents discuss plans with local community

March 2022, Category: Company News

Q&The company proposing to build New Zealand’s first pyrolysis plant for environmentally-friendly conversion of waste into a useable resource says the science behind its plans is well proven and the local community has nothing to be apprehensive about.  

Bioplant Manawatu NZ Ltd held an online community forum on Wednesday evening, attracting an audience of just over 100. The company has applied for resource consent from Horizons Regional Council to establish the plant near Feilding in collaboration with the Manawatu District Council. Significant benefits include a reduction in waste disposed in landfill, lower waste management costs and increased local employment.

The open forum heard that feedstock for the plant will consist of sorted municipal waste and plastics, which would otherwise be dumped in council landfills. Outputs will include bio-diesel, green electricity, char and biochar. Over the whole process, there will be net emission reductions and all environmental regulations will be satisfied.

The forum heard from Bioplant personnel and technical advisors, as well as independent scientist Professor Jim Jones, Research Director of the School of Food and Advanced Technology at Massey University, and the country’s leading expert on pyrolysis.

A resident’s group opposed to the plan believe toxins from the plant could contaminate waterways and soils, but the forum was told this would not be the case. Sorting of the feedstock prior to pyrolysis would also ensure rubber tyres, PVC and inorganic material are not processed.

Instead, the facility would stop more than 34,900 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalents being emitted each year — akin to removing 7500 cars from the road — given waste would be processed via pyrolysis instead of releasing emissions from landfill. Any water used in the process would either be reused in the plant or sent to Feilding’s wastewater treatment plant.

On a daily basis, the site would be capable of processing up to 40 tonnes of dry waste, producing up to 14,000 litres of diesel, 1.9 MWh of electricity and 2.5 tonnes of biochar.

Asked about how pyrolysis treated contaminants, Dr Erfan Ibrahim, scientist and adviser to Bioplant’s partner Global Green International Investments, said: 

“Nature helps, because you’re doing pyrolysis as opposed to incineration. So that’s a very chemistry-friendly, environmentally safe way of breaking down organic compounds, as opposed to incineration which is a free-for-all and produces all kinds of complex, volatile organic compounds. Pyrolysis, by the absence of oxygen, avoids the production of a lot of hazardous materials so the chemistry is working for you.”

Further features specific to pyrolysis helped neutralise other potential contaminants.

The Feilding plant would be the first of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere, but there were 18 pyrolysis plants operating successfully across South Korea, including eight plants operating within one factory belonging to the Hankook Tyre Factory.

Private investors had earmarked $27 million for the Manawatu plant and would also look to help train locals and provide education opportunities for them in the science of pyrolysis. Massey University’s leadership and expertise in this area was a key reason for choosing the location.

The proposed plant would also be part of a regional centre of excellence for waste treatment.


The Community Information Forum documentation is provided through the links below:

  1. Forum Presentation
  2. Forum Questions & Answers
  3. Presentation on Thermal Processing by Pyrolyis (Professor Jim Jones)


Q&A with International Pyrolysis Expert: 

  1. Dr Erfan Ibrahim - Resume
  2. Q&A - GGII's Pyrolysis System
  3. Q&A - Low level of contaminants with pyrolysis 


For general media enquiries:

Silvereye Communications

Ph. 021 522 142


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