Trees – New Zealand’s future oil wells?

When: Monday, June 18, 2012 from 10:00 – 11:00 AM

Where: FWB407

Dr. Trevor Stuthridge, Scion, New Zealand

The New Zealand forest growing and wood processing sectors have recently combined forces to
put in place a pan-industry Strategic Action Plan that seeks to treble annual export earnings to
$12 billion by 2022 through:

  • Delivering innovative wood-based solutions;
  • Targeting new biochemical and biofuels outputs;
  • Becoming a world-leader in timber-engineered building solutions;
  • Ensuring forest growing is a valued and profitable land use option;
  • Recognising the economic opportunities from ecosystem services; and
  • Optimising the value chain from end-product to seedling.

Scion, a New Zealand Crown Research Institute, is leading research on plantation forestry,
wood and biomaterials processing, clean technologies and value chain optimisation that will
ensure innovative solutions to the Strategy are adopted, adapted and transferred to the New
Zealand industry and beyond.

Scion’s focus includes participation in a global movement towards converting woody biomass
into multiple products via biorefineries. A biorefinery is essentially the same as its petrochemical
counterpart, but replaces crude oil with plant material and zero value waste streams. End
products may include biofuels and renewable alternatives to petrochemicals, fertilisers and

This presentation will provide an overview of Scion’s feedstock, technology and sustainability
research in its pursuit of opportunities to replace products derived from depleting petrochemical
resources with bio-based equivalents. It will provide exemplars of innovative forest productivity
strategies, decision support software systems, clean technology processes and bio-based
products under development at Scion that will help realise these ambitious targets.