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Forest Industry Dinner Meeting – 23 August 2023

Registrations are closed

Southern Wood Council, NZ Institute of Forestry, NZ Farm Forestry Association

Date: Wednesday 23 August 2023

Venue: Rosebank Lodge, Balclutha

When: 5.15pm – Drinks, 6.15pm – Dinner, 7.15pm – After-Dinner Presentation

It’s time to gather as an industry again.  After a couple of years of lockdowns and meeting and travel restrictions that kept us indoors, we got back together in March of this year for a joint forest industry dinner meeting.  Overwhelmingly, feedback from all those attending the industry get-together in March 2023 was, let’s do this more often.  

The Southern Wood Council (SWC), in conjunction with the local branch of the NZ Institute of Forestry and the Mid Otago and South Otago Branches of the NZ Farm Forestry Association, have planned another evening’s networking – along with more good food and some excellent company.  These dinner meetings are designed to get together anybody involved in or associated with forestry and wood products in the lower South Island.  

The after-dinner presentation that we’ve lined up for you, builds on that given in March. It’s a technology that’s going to impact you personally and for forestry, wood products and farming, it’s potentially going to change how you’ll be operating your business into the future.  What’s more, much of the innovation, drive and early trials with hydrogen as a fuel source – are coming from and are already being rolled out in this region.  

Hydrogen – the alternative energy source 

The development of new fossil-free fuels for passenger and heavy-duty vehicles has been nothing short of phenomenal.  Much of the focus has been on electric vehicles.  Sales records are being smashed every single month.  Globally, passenger electric vehicle sales in Q1 2023 rose 32% compared to the same time last year.  EV registrations in New Zealand doubled from 2021 to 2022 with 20 per cent of all new passenger car sales being electric last year.  

Interest though in hydrogen-powered vehicles has also been ramping up – and quickly.  Their appeal?  Instead of being charged from an external source, they produce their own onboard electricity with the only by-product emitted being water vapour.  The European Commission is expecting 60,000 hydrogen trucks on European roads by 2030.  Manufacturing companies like Hyundai, Cummins, Scania and Volvo are already well down the track with their own hydrogen technology and testing.  

Much closer to home though, the country’s largest heavy transport company based here in Southland, H.W. Richardson (HWR), have their own plans to transition their heavy transport fleet to hydrogen.  They’re well down the track and to date, they’ve committed over $15 million to exploring NZ-owned and produced hydrogen as well as trialling dual-fuel technology in their own transport fleet.  

Dual fuel (diesel and hydrogen) testing started back in 2020 and HWR has 10 dual-fuel trucks converted and now operating.  And, the first hydrogen refuelling site is set to open in Gore in September this year.  They’re among the first to transition a transport fleet to hydrogen.  

Gareth Wishart, GM of Innovation for HWR will be presenting as the industry after-dinner presenter on 23 August outlining to the forestry industry their journey, technology selection and planned rollout.  He’s based in Invercargill and leads the company’s technology developments in scheduling and optimization, deployments of in-cab technology and alternative fuel systems.  For the HWR business, operating more than 1,300 heavy trucks, the stakes are high to find a sustainable future for their local transport operations.

Plenty here – and it’s certainly aligned to this region and any rural land or forest owner.  

So, what do you need to do?

Mark the date in your diary.  Get the notice around your office, forestry contacts or your work colleagues and ensure you get a carload or two of you coming through.  Rarely, as you know, do these opportunities come up so make the most of it.  

Dinner registrations need to be received BEFORE mid-day Friday 18 August 2023.  

Note: Catering can’t be made available to those who turn up on the night and haven’t pre-registered.  

For any further information, then get in contact with Brent Apthorp via email or Tel: 021 227 5177)