Category Archives: wood

Would that Fonterra Would Use Wood!

Jeanette Fitzsimons writes…

Well, actually CANA doesn’t care whether Fonterra uses wood or not. If it finds a way to dry milk with moonbeams, that’s fine by us. What it mustn’t do is keep using coal, let alone expanding it, or expand its gas use.

We’ve been promoting waste wood from forestry because that is abundant, it’s renewable as long as forests are replanted, the technology to burn it is mature, it is found around the country, and we have the local expertise. So, ever helpful, we are getting alongside Fonterra and trying to find a good alternative for them. But the bottom line is, coal must go, and so must gas soon after.

Outside its Edendale dairy factory in Southland, Fonterra gets a clear message.

Outside its Edendale dairy factory in Southland, Fonterra gets a clear message.

Our campaign is having an effect – faster than we expected.

After hearing our evidence (well, our witness Peter Fraser’s evidence) at the Studholme consent hearing that prices are not going to rise enough to make new or expanded dairy farms profitable, and so there will be no milk for the proposed plant to dry, Fonterra has half accepted our argument and dropped one of their two proposed driers. That’s 270,000 new cows they were sure a few weeks ago they had to provide for, which they now agree are not going to materialise. So where is their evidence that the other 270,000 will?
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A Tale Of Two Hospitals

Christchurch is rebuilding two hospitals – the central one and one at Burwood. One is installing state-of-the-art waste wood boilers, the other plans, bizarrely, to move two existing coal boilers on to the site, costing millions of dollars just to shift in some dirty energy.

Climate and health conscious people around the country and particularly in Canterbury have been vocal about the insanity of this and now there is a glimmer of hope. The tender documents were withdrawn last year and have been reissued. The wording is such that it could be possible to avoid coal.

Jeanette Fitzsimons gives the background and explores the arguments in The Press last week: http://www.stuff.co.nz/environment/77738911/why-a-hospital-should-not-be-burning-coal

One Woman Stood Up To Fonterra. Now You Can Follow Her Example.

Selva J. Calvi stands up to Fonterra in Whangarei

Selva J. Calvo stands up to Fonterra in Whangarei

This is Selva. Along with nearly 3000 other New Zealanders, she is concerned that while the coal industry is in retreat around the world, here in New Zealand Fonterra is rapidly expanding its use of coal and propping up some of the nation’s most destructive coal companies, like Bathurst Resources, by doing so.

So Selva did something. She went to the venue of a Fonterra shareholders’ meeting and made a public stand against Fonterra’s coal-fired expansion plans – plans that, if carried out, will make climate change worse and more destructive.

We salute Selva and others who took a stand against Fonterra at their nationwide series of shareholders’ meetings last week. But you can take a stand against Fonterra too – and you don’t have to get out in public to do so.

All you have to do is tell Environment Canterbury you don’t want Fonterra to build two dirty new coal boilers at its Studholme plant in South Canterbury, when they could be installing wood-fired boilers instead, using waste wood from forestry operations.

You can make a quick submission using this form. Make sure you say you are opposed to all 8 resource consent applications – they are all part of the same plan.

And if you need more information, check out our Quick Submission Guide (Word |PDF), where you’ll find plenty of great arguments to use.

PS: Submissions close on Friday 27 November at 5pm – don’t wait till it’s too late!

 

 

Submit Now On Fonterra’s Proposed Coal-Fired Studholme Dairy Factory Expansion

2777 people signed our open letter with Action Station asking Fonterra to pledge “no new coal boilers” and progressively switch their old coal boilers to wood. But Fonterra are refusing to listen, and they are pressing ahead with plans to build two new coal-fired boilers as part of their Studholme plant expansion in South Canterbury.

Fonterra have said that up to 20% of biomass could be used in their new boilers, meaning at least 80% of the fuel would be coal – but their resource consent application makes it clear that coal is their preferred option.

Waimate locals and Coal Action Network activists make their statement in front of Fonterra's Studholme plant

Waimate locals and Coal Action Network activists make their statement in front of Fonterra’s Studholme plant

Fonterra love to trade on New Zealand’s “clean and green” image. They don’t want the world to know that their coal use has increased 38% since 2008. Yet rather than do something real about the problem by using wood waste instead of coal to fuel their new boilers, they prefer to bully their way through and hope no-one will notice.

But Fonterra needs resource consent for the planned expansion of its Studholme plant – and because that resource consent application has been publicly notified, you get the chance to tell Fonterra that in 2015, increasing our dependence on coal and our greenhouse gas emissions just isn’t on.

Please download and read our Quick Submission Guide (Word | PDF) and then submit now against Fonterra’s planned coal-fired Studholme expansion.  (Note: All 8 of the resource consent applications listed on this form relate to the Studholme expansion, so it’s simplest to choose all of them.)

Submissions close at 5pm on Friday 27 November – but why wait? Get your submission in today! And if you have any questions about the submissions process, please contact us on coalactionnetwork@gmail.com.

Fonterra Uses More Coal Than Huntly Coal-Fired Power Station

Fonterra is now the second largest user of coal in New Zealand, using more coal than the Huntly coal-fired power station, according to our new research (see table below).

This highlights the company’s contribution to climate change and to New Zealand’s total emissions. And it’s why it’s time to Tell Fonterra: No New Coal.

Our coal use is bigger

Fonterra does not divulge its total coal burn, but this table, compiled by CANA from various mainly public sources, shows it is well over half a million tonnes a year and growing rapidly.

Even without the proposed huge new coal fired milk drier at Studholme, for which Fonterra  has just applied for consents, it uses more coal than the Huntly power station. With the new plant it would use more than 600,000 tonnes.

The Huntly coal-fired power station has the capacity to generate 480 MW of heat, compared with Fonterra’s combined generating capacity of 572.9 MW.

The largest coal user in New Zealand is the Glenbrook steel mill. The Huntly power station was second, but has now been overtaken by Fonterra.

“Fonterra’s use of coal, and its planned expansion, is simply unsustainable,” said CANA spokesperson Jeanette Fitzsimons. “The world is in transition away from coal as climate change starts to bite everywhere and the science tells us we must phase out fossil fuels by 2050. Fonterra is going rapidly in the other direction”.

These huge quantities of coal are used to generate heat to dry milk to milk powder, a low value commodity which is Fonterra’s main export.

The company has a number of alternatives. Wood-fired boilers are common in Europe, and New Zealand has large quantities of waste wood from forestry operations. There are wood fuel suppliers who collect and process this wood and deliver to boiler sites.

“Another smart strategy would be to invest in adding more value to less milk, with less coal burn and fewer cows generating more wealth for Fonterra, farmers and the country,” said Ms Fitzsimons.

As the world demands action on climate change and a shift to cleaner fuels, the risk to Fonterra’s brand in discerning markets like Europe will become a serious consideration.

While the world is working to move away from coal, the Government has done nothing to deter Fonterra’s use of the climate-changing fuel, testament to the fact that we have one of the weakest climate policies on the planet.

CANA is a volunteer group of citizens working to reduce the mining and burning of coal by opposing new and expanded mines and plans to burn more coal, while protecting the jobs that already exist.

 

Auckland Coal Action Exposes Fonterra’s Dirty Secret: Coal

fonterra-fuel-for-the-future1 Fonterra has a dirty secret it prefers to keep from the world: many of its dairy plants are powered by the world’s dirtiest fossil fuel, coal. Fonterra has made noises about switching to renewable forms of fuel, such as wood waste, for its heat plant, but so far, that’s all there’s been – noises. So Auckland Coal Action decide to call Fonterra out. At the annual Fieldays at Mystery Creek near Hamilton, Auckland Coal Action members and friends handed out the leaflet above, together with little bags of wood chips. Here they are in action:

Auckland Coal Action handing out leaflets and bags of wood chips

Auckland Coal Action handing out leaflets and bags of wood chips

Fonterra was badly embarrassed, and event organisers got the protest moved on – but not before it had made a big media impact. Below you can read posts about the action on Auckland Coal Action’s excellent blog, plus a selection of media coverage. Fonterra’s days of hiding its dirty secret are over. Auckland Coal Action coverage

Selected media coverage

Fonterra Sneaks Round The Corner

Jeanette Fitzsimons writes…

Fonterra’s subsidiary Glencoal has put its plans for an open cast mine on SH2 at Mangatangi on hold indefinitely. The local community is celebrating. They worked very hard with submissions on all the impacts of coal mining that you are allowed to talk about in consent hearings – water, dust, traffic – but not climate change, the worst impact of all. We hear Fonterra was really surprised at the strength of the opposition.

Much of the credit though must go to Auckland Coal Action which has turned out seven times on the last afternoon of holiday weekends to face traffic crawling back to Auckland from Bay of Plenty and Coromandel, with huge placards saying

“Fonterra plans coal mine here”

“Coal Cooks the Climate”

coal cooks the climate

“Fonterra could use Waste Wood”

The mine was planned for such a public site, adjoining SH2 and the protests got some publicity, as did CANA’s opposition at the consents hearing. We brought expert evidence (PDF) to show wood chip from forestry residues was available and technically feasible as a boiler fuel with no net carbon emissions. This is what a win looks like. But….

Solid Energy has just reopened Kopako 1, an old mine around 5km away which still contains a lot of coal, on a back road hardly anyone ever a uses except for mining. It’s part of the same Maramarua coal field. They have a contract with Fonterra to supply more than 100,000 tonnes a year for their Waikato milk drying plants. Fonterra has just sneaked round the corner and passed responsibility for the mining to Solid Energy.

mangatangi_deferred

From the perspective of the atmosphere, nothing has changed. Emissions will continue as planned. But we have shown that Fonterra is susceptible to pressure. All those motorists tooting support for the ACA protests has got to them. They have had to sneak away to a less public site. But it’s not that easy.

Now is the time to keep up the pressure. Fonterra is the third largest coal user in the country by far. With the Huntly power station phasing out they may already be the second largest, after the steel mill. At least 400,000 tonnes a year – we are still working out just how much more than that. This is not compatible with the “clean green image” they like to use to sell their milk overseas.

There is a big opportunity here for Fonterra to position themselves as working towards sustainability by transitioning to wood waste. In fact they told us they were doing that, but are dragging the chain. We intend to keep the pressure on to help them recognise their own self-interest.