Evaluating Stump to Pump

MartinJenkins has carried out an evaluation of Stump to Pump – one of the first Primary Growth Partnership programmes to be completed. The final evaluation report was recently published on the Ministry for Primary Industries website.

The Stump to Pump programme was a Primary Growth Partnership between Norske Skog, Z Energy and MPI, that completed a feasibility study of the technical and commercial prospects for conversion of radiata pine forestry waste into liquid fuels.

The programme ended on 30 September 2014. Our subsequent evaluation concluded that Stump to Pump achieved its intended outcome by determining it was technically feasible to convert the forestry residues to biofuel feedstocks suitable for the New Zealand market. However, the current global economic and energy outlook make the commercial viability of Stump to Pump marginal and too high risk at present.

The evaluation focused on how well the programme achieved its intended outcomes, and on identifying key barriers, enablers, and lessons learned.

We found the programme was implemented and managed effectively. It was successful in providing information for decision making about the viability of a test plant for conversion to biofuels. Key findings in the evaluation were:

  • The establishment of partnerships across the forestry and energy sector value chain was critical to the outcome of the programme and level of confidence in the findings. 
  • Strong governance and project management was a key factor in the programme’s success. 

Our findings are consistent with a recent review of the PGP programme overall by the Office of the Auditor-General, which found that while there were some initial teething problems, in general the PGP programme is demonstrating appropriate flexibility in setting up and managing partnerships, and programmes are showing encouraging results.

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