Nelson Pine Industries Limited

MDF and the Environment

GoldenEdge® MDF production processes have been optimised to minimise dust, water use, effluent and noise, and reduce levels of formaldehyde. Techniques used have reduced the amount of water required in the production process by two thirds, despite having trebled the output of GoldenEdge® MDF, and have helped to contribute to winning the EECA Energy Award, building our reputation around environmentally-conscious production.

Water: Every tonne of MDF made requires approximately one tonne of water, which is very low compared with other processes that use wood residues. Some of the water is used for cleaning wood chips to remove any dirt, sand or stones that could cause wear on refining equipment; and to ensure less wear when machining MDF panels. The other major use of water is to make steam used to heat and soften the chips before they are ground up into fibre. NPIL is continuing to find ways to reduce water usage in the production process.

Energy: about 70% of the energy used on the site is generated by burning wood waste. This comes from:
– Bark taken off in the debarking and chipping operation
– Sawdust from trim and sizing saws
– Sander dust from board sanding
– Board offcuts from the panel sizing saws
The other 30% of the energy comes from electricity supplied via Network Tasman.

Resin: Resin to glue the fibres together into board is supplied by two resin companies. Aica has a resin plant adjacent to NPIL and pumps the resin to tanks on site via a pipeline eliminating the need for fossil fuel powered transport. Hexion manufactures resin for NPIL at its resin plants in Christchurch and Tauranga. Both resin manufacturers have worked closely with us to develop environmentally friendly resin products with reduced emissions. GoldenEdge® MDF has the capability to be made with emission levels similar to natural wood.

Water and waste: NPIL is part of a cluster of industrial users of the water and waste services provided by the Nelson regions two councils. Effluent, mainly from the chip washing stage of production, is treated on site before being piped to the regional treatment plant.