Image for Forestry Tasmania powers on with biomass plan. Is it because they have to ...

... and are they now hoping the Aprin Triabunna woodchip mill deal will sink without trace?

On June 22, Tasmanian Times ran this story (Contract signed to turn forests into pellets: Is this true?) from a hiighly reputable source speculating that Austrian-based pulping/power generation expert Andritz had signed a contract with a Tasmanian government body - most likely Forestry Tasmania - to provide their machinery to turn Tasmanian native forest into pellets.

TT followed up by asking a series of questions which Tasmanians have every right to know: APRIN: The Questions that must be Answered ... and which largely remain unanswered.

Julia Gillard’s Carbon Tax has effectively scuppered any chance of a biomass future for beleaguered Forestry, as it rules out burning of forests for electricity generation.

Which still begs the question: Was there a deal between Forestry Tas and Andritz? What part, if any, did Aprin or the Triabunna chip mill have in any deal?

ABC Online:

Posted 1 hour 4 minutes ago

Forestry Tasmania powers on with biomass plan

Forestry Tasmania is pressing ahead with plans to build a biomass plant, even though native forest woodchips are not considered a renewable energy fuel under the carbon tax plan.

Power stations which burn native timber will no longer qualify for renewable energy subsidies under the scheme.

Environment Tasmania says it removes what has been a “perverse incentive” for logging native forests.

Spokesman, Phill Pullinger, says the $948 million biodiversity fund and carbon farming initiative would also help protect the state’s native forests and ecosystems.

The Tasmanian Greens leader Nick McKim has applauded the decision.

“This is a big step forward towards valuing our forests properly,” he said.

But it has infuriated state-owned Forestry Tasmania which is trying to develop a biomass plant in the Huon Valley in the south.

Assistant general manager, Michael Wood, says exempting native wood residues flies in the face of scientific evidence.

“The current position that’s been adopted is more about ideologies.”

Mr Wood says the company will still pursue its biomass project.

State and Federal Liberal MPs have also criticised the native timber element of the carbon tax plan saying it is clearly a Greens’ sweetener.

The Federal Treasurer says biomass has been excluded as a renewable energy source under the carbon tax regime because it is controversial.

The Federal Treasurer, Wayne Swan, has told ABC Local Radio biomass did not fit with peoples’ views on renewable energy.

“I recognise, however, that there is a debate about this and there’s going to be a lot of debate about the measurement and about what should be in and what should be out,” Mr Swan said.

“The most important thing was to get a framework in place with a carbon price and to get a package of assistance in place for both industry and for households.”

ABC Online HERE

• SENATOR THE HON RICHARD COLBECK
Senator for Tasmania
Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Fisheries and Forestry
Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Innovation, Industry and Science
M E D I A R E L E A S E
12 July, 2012

Wayne Swan parrots Greens nonsense on forest biomass

Treasurer Wayne Swan was spewing Greens ideology this morning when he was asked why the Federal Government’s carbon tax had ruled out forest biomass as a certifiable source of renewable energy.

Mr Swan told ABC Radio this morning: “Well I don’t think it fits within what most people would accept was renewable energy. I recognise however that there is a debate about this.”

“Treasurer Wayne Swan must stop peddling Greens nonsense and start listening to Australia’s forest scientists,” Coalition forestry spokesman Richard Colbeck said.

“Mr Swan tried to imply that the use of forest biomass for renewable energy production is still questionable.

“Mr Swan should open his eyes and have a look at the other countries, like Sweden and Finland which are already working towards targets of 39% of total energy production from woody biomass.

“Mr Swan could also look closer to home – in Tasmania in fact – where Forestry Tasmania is pursuing plans to develop a biomass plant in the Huon Valley.

“Forestry Tas’ general manager Michael Wood is right on the money when he says opposition to native forest biomass is based on ideology and flies in the face of science.

“Without touching another tree, twig or leaf, Australia could generate up to 3000 gigawatt hours of energy that is renewable, sustainable and cost-effective.

“The Federal Government is being completely ignorant to the potential that Australia’s forests hold for helping to reduce this nation’s carbon footprint.

“Wayne Swan has confirmed Labor now shares the Greens’ ideological, nonsensical approach to forest biomass,” Senator Colbeck said.