Commercial production of biodiesel from inedible tallow at New Zealand’s first commercial-scale biofuels plant was expected at the end of August, reports Biodiesel Magazine.

Commissioning of the NZ$26M (US$19.2M) 5.3M gallons/year Z Energy biodiesel plant in Wiri, Auckland began at the start of August.

“This is a pretty big milestone for us here at Z as well as for New Zealand as it marks the imminent start of production at New Zealand’s first commercial-scale biofuels plant,” said Sheena Thomas, senior communications advisor for Z Energy.

Z Energy would use about 12% of New Zealand’s production of inedible tallow as feedstock, Biodiesel Magazine said.

“As an existing byproduct of the meat industry, tallow is the perfect feedstock for bringing biodiesel to New Zealand,” said David Binnie, Z Energy’s general manager of supply and distribution. “It doesn’t compete with food production and would otherwise be exported as a low-value commodity in the production of soap and candles and some overseas biofuel production.