PGF loan borrower to expand waste-to-bioenergy operations

Published: 20 December, 2023

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  • Canterbury

Ecogas, a Provincial Growth Fund loan recipient, has secured a contract to build a food waste-to-bioenergy facility with Christchurch City Council.

Bird's eye view image of the Reporoa facility - white buildings and machinery sitting amongst vibrant green fields

Ecogas Reporoa

Government investment has helped Ecogas secure a contract with Christchurch City Council to build a food waste-to-bioenergy facility. This facility is the next evolution of the Ecogas design, following the success of their flagship plant in Reporoa.  

Christchurch City Council announced on 6 December that New Zealand-owned company Ecogas has been contracted to build a fully enclosed plant on Aruhe Road in South Hornby.

The new Ecogas plant in Christchurch will see energy, carbon dioxide and nutrients recovered from some of the 327,000 tonnes of food waste that goes to landfills each year in New Zealand.

In 2019, Ecogas was approved for a $7 million loan from the Provincial Growth Fund to build New Zealand's first commercial bioenergy facility at Reporoa, in the central North Island. The  plant was built over 2 years, during the peak of the pandemic and global supply chain issues. It was officially opened on 20 October 2022 and directly created 28 jobs.

The development of Ecogas’ flagship Reporoa plant was a key factor in securing the Christchurch contract. Ecogas’ core business aligns with government’s focus on decarbonisation, the circular bioeconomy and waste management.

The new plant will be built to the highest engineering standard to ensure minimal risk to community, environment, and customers.

The original Organic Waste Recovery Facility in Reporoa was built on 2 hectares of land owned by T&G Global (formerly Turners and Growers), adjacent to their tomato glasshouse operation. T&G Global buy the renewable energy from Ecogas, and also supplies the facility with its own organic wastes.

At full capacity, the existing facility in Reporoa can process 75,0000 tonnes of organic food waste a year from businesses and kerbside food scrap collections throughout the North Island, into clean renewable energy. There are now plans to increase processing capacity to up to 100,000 tonnes per annum.

Projects like the Ecogas Organics Processing Facility in Reporoa are amongst many regional economic development initiatives made possible with the support of investment from the PGF.

The PGF has funded 2,270 projects across the country, with 192 in the Waikato region. PGF projects have created 15,039 jobs, with 1,845 of these in Waikato.