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Army base installs New Zealand's largest wood pellet boiler

New Zealand's largest biomass-fired boiler has been built at Waiouru Army Base, increasing the country's consumption of wood pellets by 50%.

By switching the existing coal-fired plant to one which fires wood pellets, 5,300 tonnes of coal has been displaced, in addition to 10,500 tonnes per year of carbon emissions.

The facility began generating 8MW of renewable energy in May earlier this year, throwing out heat for the base throughout New Zealand's tough winter.

In addition to lower CO2 emissions, the plant emits no soot and sulphur, is cheaper to run and the life of the boiler is extended.

The project cost $170,000 (€120,800) to complete. The Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) awarded $50,000 to the build and Nature's Flame, a subsidiary of Solid Energy Renewable Fuels, invested $105,000. Solid Energy will also supply wood pellets from its Taupo production factory to the project at reduced rates.