13.3 Pulp and paper


Some 10.7% of industrial emissions come from the pulp and paper sector, all resulting from fuel combustion. This sector also makes significant use of its own waste product to power this combustion, improving its emission intensity profile compared to other sectors.

The variety in production output and the size of facilities makes CCS difficult to apply in a larger proportion of the total when compared with cement. This share reaches 30% of output in NZ scenarios, where most of the transformation occurs between 2030 and 2040 (Figure 13.3). Among the various outputs, chemical pulp is where this share is highest (around 50% of production comes from facilities equipped with carbon capture) and also amounts to the largest share of production (36% of output for the sector). Notably, this is also the only sector where CCS equipment is installed in the CP30 scenario (with marginal quantities for paper as well). As for cement, no carbon capture occurs in the reference scenario.

Figure 13.3 – Pulp and paper production across scenarios #

Carbon capture allows for 53% of the emissions avoided in NZ50 compared with REF (Figure 13.4). Most of this abatement happens after 2035. The rest of the reductions comes at first from reducing production, but then fuel switching (to a mix of electricity, black liquor and biomass) takes over, allowing for the rest (outside of CCS) from around 2050. 

This suggests that carbon capture can be introduced rapidly (mainly between 2025 and 2040), while fuel switching takes more time, during which reducing production is necessary to follow the net-zero 2050 schedule, before reaching its full potential. It also highlights the fact that fuel switching is key to reducing emissions from this industry, partly as a result of the high proportion of combustion emissions. 

Figure 13.4 – Emission reductions in pulp and paper production (NZ50) #