New Zealand-based Golden Bay Cement has been recognised for its use of bioenergy to reduce CO2 emissions, winning the Renewable Energy category in the 2012 EECA Awards.
The company has cut CO2 emissions by a 58,000tpa and is saving $3m every year in energy costs, as a result of substituting nearly a third of the coal burned in its kiln for wood fuel, sourced from demolition and construction waste.
The project makes Golden Bay Cement New Zealand's largest known user of renewable wood energy outside the wood processing sector. Its CO2 savings are the highest of any award finalist except Supreme Award winner Air New Zealand, which is avoiding 142,000t of CO2 per year.
EECA Chief Executive Mike Underhill said Golden Bay was setting the bar for other energy-intensive industries.
"It's inspiring to see a big industrial user like Golden Bay take a leap of faith and start switching to renewable bioenergy, particularly sourced from wood waste. It demonstrates very clearly that large process heat users don't necessarily need to rely on fossil fuels. We hope this will be an example for other energy-intensive industries like dairy. Industrial heat accounts for more than 30% of our national energy use - and along with transport, it has the most scope for improvement in terms of efficiency and increasing use of renewable energy."
The project has enabled Golden Bay Cement to meet the strict Environmental Choice criteria, making it the only New Zealand cement able to be used in 'green building' projects. It's also helping Northland industry, generating jobs and revenue for local wood suppliers.