Mataura Lignite Briquetting Plant

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The Mataura Lignite Briquetting Plant is plant which is currently being constructed by Solid Energy, a new Zealand government owned coal mining company. The plant is located the closed Matuara Opencast Mine site near the town of Matuara in Southland.

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The company aims to produce 90,000 tonnes of briquettes from approximately 150,000 tonnes of lignite sourced from the New Vale mine.[1] Solid Energy has proposed that energy from the plant would be supplied by an up to 9MW lignite-fired boiler using 15,000 tonnes a year. The plant would generate "up to 600 tonnes of coal ash per year".[2]

The company has stated that a "successful" trial using Soutland lignite for a briquetting trial was undertaken at the GTL Energy plant in North Dakota.[3]

Export aspirations

The company has stated that the initial plant is aiming to supply domestic and industrial customers in New Zealand but that part of the initial production would be sent to South Port, Bluff and possible Lyttleton "for export trials."[2] The company states that "potential exists for an export-scale plant. We would only consider the case for this when the domestic-scale plant is successfully producing briquettes that have proven value in New Zealand and international markets. Any expansion or a new plant would require new resource consents."[1]

In one brochure Solid Energy states that if the briquetting plant is successful "it will be the forerunner to a larger commercial-size export plant producing about 1 million tonnes of briquettes. This would come from either an expanded New Vale Mine, or a new opencast mine in the Gore/Mataura area." The company has stated that it hopes that the plant will be commissioned by 2014 "subject to success of demonstration plant and the necessary consents."[3]

Project Details

Owner: Solid Energy
Location: south of the town of Mataura, Southland, New Zealand
Coordinates: -46.219426,168.835162
Status: Under construction
Production capacity: 90,000 tonnes a year of biquettes[1]
Type of coal: Lignite
Main markets: primarily industrial and domestic customers in Southland but with some exported for trials.[1]

Articles and Resources


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Solid Energy, "Annual report 2011", Solid Energy, pages 29.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Solid Energy, "Matuaura Lignite Briquetting Plant: Application for resource consents and assessment of environmental effects", February 22, 2011.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Solid Energy, "Southland Lignites", Solid Energy, November 2010.

Related Resources

External Articles