Decarbonisation ‘heats up’ Bay industries

The Bay of Plenty is built on a bed of world-class geothermal energy and industries are being urged to consider a transition to the sustainable energy source to support decarbonisation efforts.

As part of Amplify’s annual NZ Geothermal Week, Bay of Connections hosted a Decarbonising Industries workshop in Rotorua on 26 July, bringing together operators and industry experts to showcase geoheat as a sustainable energy option.

Global tissue manufacturer, Essity, and local low emissions manufacturer, Tnue, are among those utilising the benefits of geoheat from an environmental and economic point of view, and they shared their journey to inspire others to explore a switch.

For 65 years, the Essity site in Kawerau has manufactured well-known brands such as Purex, Sorbent, Handee and TORK utilising geothermal steam provided by Ngāti Tūwharetoa Geothermal Assets.

As part of an ongoing commitment to reduce its carbon emissions, the company is utilising geoheat as a major energy source for its manufacturing process, and it is now converting one of its two tissue drying machines to the geothermal energy resource .

The project has been co-funded by the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority through the Government Investment in Decarbonising Industry (GIDI) fund.

Tnue has raise capital which includes an investment from Green Investment Finance and WBC Barn an agritech investment company, to develop a manufacturing plant outside Taupō . This plant will produce low leaching and emissions nitrogen fertiliser. Construction is scheduled to start later this year, with fertiliser production underway from mid-2023.

Tnue will be the first tenant in He Ahi – Tauhara Clean Energy Park – an exciting new development which was officially unveiled during NZ Geothermal Week.

Located on 45 hectares of industrial-zoned land near Taupō, He Ahi is being developed by Te Pae o Waimihia Trust, with access to cost-effective renewable geothermal heat from Contact Energy for industrial processing and heating.

Te Pae o Waimihia is seeking tenants who are keen to be part of New Zealand’s Net Carbon Zero future, and share the trust’s philosophy of growing the circular economy.

Bay of Connections Programme Manager, Dean Howie, says bringing together experts and interested parties encourages more businesses to explore the potential of lowering their carbon footprint using geoheat.

“Showcasing these companies and providers of this renewable resource enabled industry leaders to hear first-hand how geoheat is proven at scale, readily available and is cost effective once initial set up costs are met.

“Providing a platform for industries, experts and geoheat providers to connect and discuss opportunities for geothermal energy is an important step to encourage action and enable progress towards a low carbon economy.”

Inquiries on geothermal development and investment opportunities in the wider Bay of Plenty can be directed to Bay of Connections at