NZ Woolscourer transits away from coal to electricity with 6.6 million investment

NZ Woolscourer transits away from coal to electricity with 6.6 million investment

WoolWorks New Zealand Limited, (formerly known as New Zealand

Woolscouring Ltd), will invest $2.79 million in a world-first decarbonisation at its scouring plant at their Canterbury Woolscours site.

New Zealand’s leading wool scourer, WoolWorks New Zealand Limited, has welcomed approval of co-funding to accelerate replacing coal with electricity, in what is a world-leading initiative for early stage wool processing. EECA (Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority) is investing $3.63 million through the Government Investment in Decarbonising Industry initiative, to co-fund switching from coal to electricity at the Washdyke site near Timaru.

“We were on a path to reduce our dependence on coal but it would probably have been closer to 2030 before we got there,” says WoolWorks Chief Executive Nigel Hales. “The funding has helped fast track the process and was the driving force behind the decision to move away from coal.”

“We’re one of the world’s best in terms of total usable energy per kilogram of wool and that started to drive our thinking in terms of how can we be better? We’re continually looking at ways to reduce the impact of our operations on the environment. We’ve already reduced our energy by over 20 percent and this investment shows how serious we are about playing our part to address climate change.”

“The installation of an electrode boiler to produce steam and an industrial heat pump to generate hot water is expected to reduce over 11,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions every year is the equivalent of removing 3,021 cars off the road”, Nigel Hales says.

Mr Hales says the company is making significant gains in improving the efficiency of its world-class scour operations, leading the way globally for the total useful energy usage per kilogram of wool and reducing its carbon footprint.

“Through this project we will provide the New Zealand wool sector with a unique low-carbon start to the global supply chain, which we believe will support increased demand for New Zealand wool.”

“Rather than planting our way out of the climate change problem by purchasing pine trees to offset our greenhouse gas emissions, we are choosing to do the right thing by the environment and actually reducing our emissions.”

EECA Chief Executive Andrew Caseley says EECA has worked with WoolWorks since 2016 and supported a number of initiatives aimed at eliminating coal at the Timaru site.

“The company’s well-crafted decarbonisation pathway through EECA’s Energy Transition

Accelerator, and taking an ‘energy efficiency first’ approach, has set WoolWorks up for success in taking the last stage of fuel switching in an economically sustainable manner.”

Mr Caseley says the company’s environmental programme has already resulted in savings of over 20% in energy usage in the South Island so far.”

The project takes advantage of Meridian’s Certified Renewable Energy product which enables WoolWorks to purchase renewable energy certificates to verify that the amount of electricity it uses from the grid is matched on an annual basis with electricity produced from Meridian’s certified hydro stations and wind farms.

Meridian CEO Neal Barclay recognised the commitment that WoolWorks has made to

decarbonisation and combating climate change.

“WoolWorks is showing real climate leadership at a critical time. Meridian is proud to be partnering with WoolWorks to help reduce their environmental impact and demonstrate their commitment to climate action to their international customers.”

The company is the largest woolscourer by volume in the world and handles 76 per cent of all New Zealand wool. Every year, the company’s three sites in Napier, Hastings, and Timaru wash more than 100,000,000 greasy kilograms of wool, ranging from superfine merino to crossbred.

The company employs 150 people across a wide range of critical operational, technical, engineering, administrative and management roles.

Enquiries: please contact Nigel Hales, Chief Executive Officer, WoolWorks New Zealand

Limited on: Mob +64 274 468 163 Office +64 6 834 1421 Email