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Can you share a bit about your background and role within Foresta?
I have worked in Sales and Business Management for many years working in the construction, manufacturing, oil and fuel industry. My personal interests are mechanical engineering and energy.
My role within Foresta is to develop the company’s revenue from sales offtake agreements and long-term contracts for the supply of torrefied wood pellets as a direct replacement for coal, additionally, the product range includes the wood chemical business securing sales contracts for Natural wood Rosin and Terpenes. Foresta manufacturing process produces technically pure Natural wood chemical that are in high demand globally.
What inspired you to work for Foresta?
My career experiences have been extensive and varied, the most rewarding path has been in the energy sector providing solutions to an ever-demanding global industrial machine. The opportunity to influence market change and be involved in the startup business with new innovations and alternative energy presented itself through Foresta, the link in the chain that made this opportunity gel for me was meeting Ray Mountfort, MD. His insight, innovations and passion for the future using his unique production model and business plan had me hooked.
What do you like about living and working in Papamoa?
I have the lived in Tauranga for the past 18 years and enjoy every moment of this fantastic location. My interests are family, friends, boating, fishing and entertaining. No better place.
What challenges do you see in the biomass energy sector in New Zealand, and how is our company addressing them?
The New Zealand Market has been a slow burn in understanding the reality for the requirements to transition onto alternative energy fuels. Success has been achieved from various small scale biomass businesses who are providing solutions with developing products from low value wood fibre (sawdust, forest harvesting residue and waste) providing low GJ energy output fuels. These business successes have exceeded their own business plans with customers’ demands outstripping production capabilities along with a limited low value fibre supply.
Sounds like a nice position to be in, however the remaining market has had to change direction and consider other options that require large capital investments.
Foresta is presenting to the market an opportunity to provide a high GJ energy product in the form of torrefied woods pellets, that are a direct drop-in replacement for coal. In addition to this we are also extracting high value natural wood chemicals, (Rosin and Terpenes).
The business model allows us to produce on a large scale to supply market driven volumes and energy demands, achieved by using high value fibre in the form of the whole tree (Pinus radiata). Foresta unique production process creates the opportunity to provide an energy solution to all coal fired industrial users along with global markets with the natural wood chemical product globally. A circular economy using sustainable forestry and adding value to then New Zealand economy along with reductions in GHG emissions.
What aspect of your role do you find most fulfilling?
I enjoy working in the commercial markets that encompasses a variety of sector from energy, forestry, industrial manufacturing, dairy, agriculture and food production .,The aspects of my role that I enjoy the most is developing new business and long-term partnerships both domestically and globally.
What advice would you give to someone aspiring to work in the biomass energy industry in New Zealand?
The biomass industry is, in term of development in its infancy with new innovations and technical advancements providing growth opportunities for the market that will continue to develop rapidly over the next several years. If not decades.
The diverse nature of the biomass industry provides a variety of opportunities across many sectors , if you have a passion for the chance to challenge the status quo and drive change in the environment consider then consider the shift with an open mind, creative spirit, and determination for success.