Southland has a well established forestry industry and supports a range of commercial forest species.
Southland also has the youngest age profile of the ten wood supply regions in New Zealand which means there is significant potential to increase harvest volumes. The region's processing infrastructure has developed as harvest volumes have increased, and now serves the industry well. Forestry employs around 1,650 fulltime equivalent workers in the Southland/Otago region. Ninety nine percent of wood is sourced from planted exotic forests, and 1% from natural forests, which are sustainably managed.
Wood Energy South
Venture Southland in conjunction with the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) are co-ordinating the Wood Energy South project - an authoritative source of current information and best practice aimed at promoting the use, and development of supply chains for clean wood energy in Southland.
The project is being funded over three years (2014-2017) and aims to lower energy-related carbon emissions in Southland, improve air quality and demonstrate the cost and life-cycle benefits of wood-chip and wood-pellet fuelled boilers utilising local waste wood. It will also provide local employment capacity building and business opportunities.