Safety concerns shuts down Todd Energy Kapuni plant for past fortnight & More Trending News


The Kapuni Gas Treatment Plant. Photo: RNZ / Robin Martin

By Sam Olley of RNZ

A Todd Energy fuel plant has been quickly shut down over security concerns.

The Kapuni liquid carbon dioxide plant in Taranaki has been New Zealand’s solely home producer of food-grade CO2 because the Marsden Point refinery was decommissioned final yr.

Todd Energy has confirmed to RNZ the closure began greater than two weeks in the past, simply earlier than Christmas.


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There is not any reopening date but.

Todd Energy is a subsidiary of the Todd Corporation owned by one in every of New Zealand’s wealthiest households – using 1000 folks general.

The authentic Kapuni plant was constructed 50 years in the past.


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In a written assertion, Todd Energy chief government Mark Macfarlane acknowledged the closure was “concerning” for prospects.

“It was necessary to shut the plant to enable the issue to be clearly defined and to complete any resulting rectification work. The safe operation of the plant is our priority.

“Unfortunately, that means the plant is temporarily closed while we work through engineering solutions.”

Customers had been importing further CO2 to fulfill demand, he stated.

BOC Gas buys CO2 from Todd Energy and sells it in cylinders throughout Aotearoa.


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It stated Todd Energy was “experiencing an extended outage at its facility that is impacting CO2 supply to customers”.

Amid the manufacturing halts, BOC stated it was “currently prioritising supply of CO2 to critical medical, safety and water customers”.

“Rationing allocations will be reviewed regularly in line with product availability.”

While Aotearoa is making an attempt to cut back carbon dioxide emissions, the processed fuel from Kapuni is a unique type, utilized by home, business and industrial home equipment, on websites starting from meals and beverage factories to hospitals and water therapy vegetation.

Gas New Zealand chief government Janet Carson stated the product was “absolutely vital for industry and New Zealanders”.

“We use it every day in products that most of us just take for granted, from fizzy drinks and beer, to tomatoes, to pre-packaged meats and many other uses, including in plastics.”


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She stated within the long-term Aotearoa might transition away from utilizing fossil gases like CO2, to renewable gases.

Ralph Sims. Photo / Supplied, File
Ralph Sims. Photo / Supplied, File

But within the meantime, prospects relied on Kapuni.

“We’ve become reliant on smaller production, smaller supply to meet the demand which is growing.”

Briefing notes present Cabinet ministers had been warned the lack of CO2 fuel provides from Marsden Point would put strain on liquid CO2 provides, in a paper titled ‘Fuel supply resilience without a domestic oil refinery’ in November 2021.

The doc stated: “While there are other potential CO2 sources, including imports, closure of the refinery will challenge the CO2 supply chain – particularly [with] a short lead time to make necessary investments or relocate plant.

Energy expert and Massey University Emeritus professor Ralph Sims told RNZ: “We’ve got a short-term problem, which might happen again, every time Todd Energy does its maintenance.”


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He additionally stated CO2 processing malfunctions might kill folks.

“It’s heavier than air, and therefore people have died when the CO2 from dry ice, for example, is built up, and therefore you are smothered. Because literally, the CO2 is taking over the oxygen you would have been breathing in.”

Fonterra makes use of CO2 from Kapuni in its meals processing, and the dairy firm stated to this point, the flexibility to gather and course of milk had not been impacted.

Taranaki hospitals additionally purchase CO2 fuel via BOC.

It is used for surgical procedures, stimulating respiratory, and anaesthesia – and to sterilise tools.

In an announcement, Te Whatu Ora stated there had been no direct impacts for Taranaki hospitals to date.


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Safety concerns shuts down Todd Energy Kapuni plant for past fortnight

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Safety concerns shuts down Todd Energy Kapuni plant for past fortnight

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