BOC opens CO2 plant in NZ

BOC has opened a CO2 capture and purification plant at Refining NZ’s Marsden Point oil refinery, ensuring long-term CO2 supply for the food processing, beverage, wine, meat and dairy industries.

Colin Isaac, BOC South Pacific Managing Director, said the NZ$40m ($37m) plant can purify up to 50,000 tonnes of food-grade liquid CO2 annually and features innovative technology that allows the industrial gas supplier to exceed internationally recognised food and beverage standards.

“This new plant has significantly increased our CO2 capture and purification capability and storage capacity in New Zealand, allowing us to meet future increases in CO2 demand and providing reliability of supply to large volumes of CO2 to customers in high consumption industries such as the major dairy export market,” Isaac said.

Underpinned by a long-term agreement with Refining NZ exceeding 15 years, BOC will purify the CO2 by-product from the oil refining process into food-grade CO2 at its processing plant.

Sjoerd Post, Refining NZ Chief Executive Officer described the opening of the BOC plant opposite the refinery as a “win-win” for New Zealand business.

“Taking a by-product to use as an essential feed-stock is a significant growth opportunity for manufacturers and exporters. At the same time it creates a revenue stream for Refining NZ independent of refining margins and the exchange rate. “We’ve worked closely with our colleagues at BOC to make this a reality and are delighted to finally see the CO2 plant up and running,” he said.

CO2 is used for carbonation of beverages, as a chilling agent in the food industry, modified atmosphere packaging of dairy and other food products, pH control on pH balancing applications and as an industrial solvent. Industries that use CO2 includes dairy, food, beverage, petrochemical, water and environmental.