Consortium offers biodiesel in New Zealand

By Erin Voegele | April 01, 2011

A biodiesel blending program in New Zealand has reached its first year milestone. The country’s Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority recently congratulated the Queenstown Lakes Biodiesel Consortium for its first year of operation.

The consortium was set up by Otago Polytechnic’s Centre for Sustainable Practice in order to supply biodiesel blended fuel to the Queenstown region. “The Queenstown group has been a trailblazer by being the first in the country to set up this kind of arrangement, which has provided local businesses with the chance to use a more environmentally-friendly transport fuel,” said EECA CEO Mike Underhill.

According to Sharon Schindler, the Centre for Sustainable Practice’s sustainable practice advisor, the consortium was developed though the Biodiesel Grant Scheme launched by the EECA in 2009. “The aim of the consortium is to run a pilot in Queenstown using New Zealand made biodiesel to help increase the uptake of biodiesel through enabling more fuel self-sufficiency, long-term supply and price security,” she said. “The Consortium was set up to get sufficient volumes to enable supply at a price close to mineral diesel.”

The Queenstown facility, which features a 10,000 liter (2,642 gallon) storage tank, supplied 10,000 liters (26,417 gallons) of biodiesel in the past year. The consortium is supported by local partners, including the Queenstown Lakes District Council, Destination Queenstown and the Queenstown Chamber of Commerce. According to Schindler, the consortium currently has 20 members, mostly from the tourism sector, and is sponsored by eight local businesses.

Fuel distributed by the consortium is supplied by Allied Petroleum in conjunction with Biodiesel New Zealand, which produces biodiesel in Christchurch and delivers it to the facility, Schindler continued.

“Queenstown’s success has inspired other regions to follow suite—Marlborough now has a similar consortium in place, Dunedin and Rotorua are in the process of being finalized, while Nelson, Tauranga, Wanaka and Auckland are at earlier stages of development,” Underhill said. 


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