Ecogas hosted an official opening of their new facility in Reporoa, the first of its kind in New Zealand. The opening was a celebration of New Zealand’s progress towards a circular economy.
The Ecogas Reporoa Organics Processing Facility officially opened on 20 October in the presence of Hon Dr Megan Woods and representatives of Ngati Tahu-Ngati Whaoa Runanga Trust. The opening event signals that the facility is moving into production.
This landmark project is the largest food waste processing facility in New Zealand using advanced technology proven overseas. At its full capacity, the Ecogas facility will produce renewable energy, biofertiliser and renewable carbon dioxide from 75,000 tonnes of inedible food waste and other organic residues.
The Reporoa facility has been built over two years, weathering the Covid pandemic, lockdowns and global supply chain issues. The two Ecogas founding partners Pioneer Energy and EcoStock Supplies Limited have shown that courage, vision and expert skills can put New Zealand on the path to a more sustainable future.
Ecogas’s core business is well aligned with central government’s focus on decarbonisation, circular bioeconomy and waste management. The Reporoa facility has been built to the highest engineering standard to ensure minimal risk to community, environment, and customers. It is strategically located near the future users of the biofertiliser, renewable CO2 and bioenergy. These products are near direct replacements for existing solutions, meaning their users will not need to change their current practices.
The project was funded by Pioneer Energy. A loan from the Provincial Growth Fund assisted with the initial works. The economic viability of the business is based on competitive pricing and provide long-term value for customers.
Some 250 stakeholders will come together for the celebration, including Auckland Council, T&G Global, local schools and community to witness the site blessing by Ngati Tahu-Ngati Whaoa Runanga Trust followed by speeches by the Hon Dr Megan Woods and representatives of Ecogas, Auckland Council and T&G Global.
Parul Sood, Auckland Council General Manager Waste Solutions says, “The opening of this facility is an exciting and important step towards reducing both the amount of waste that goes to landfill and also greenhouse gases. Almost half the weight of a kerbside rubbish bin is organics and we are aiming to reduce that considerably by turning it into renewable resource in Reporoa .”
Rod Gibson, T&G Fresh Managing Director, says it’s fantastic to have the facility, which is adjacent to T&G’s Reporoa tomato glasshouse, running. “A glasshouse of this size needs a similar amount of energy as about 2,000 homes. With Ecogas’ Reporoa Organics Processing Facility we can use the energy it produces to create enough heat to keep our tomatoes at optimum growing temperatures, as well as utilising its carbon dioxide to allow our plants to breathe.
The heat, carbon dioxide, water and sunlight all combine so T&G can grow high quality, environmentally and economically sustainable tomato crops for Kiwis to eat and enjoy,” said Rod
Ecogas Managing Director, Fraser Jonker, says “This is a very exciting and proud moment for Ecogas helping New Zealand move forward to a more sustainable future. It is great to see our majority and 100% community owned shareholder, Pioneer Energy, and privately-owned EcoStock Supplies combining their expertise to deliver this processing facility providing a valuable full circular option for organic waste streams.”
It is expected that the Reporoa plant will produce 200 tonnes per year of nitrogen in the form of biofertiliser and 185,000 GJ of energy in form of biogas from 75,000 tonnes of organic waste.
Ecogas has worked with in partnership with transport providers to ensure the facility does not add significantly to road transport by backfilling existing linehaul trucks on their return from Auckland to Taupo.
Further enquires should be directed to Alzbeta Bouskova, General Manager Ecogas (firstname.lastname@example.org)