Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI) are now releasing formally derived carbon yield lookup tables for participates in the Emission Trading Scheme (ETS).   These have been created specific to the forest and forest type based on inventory data collected through the Forest Measurement Approach (FMA).   It is worthy of now looking back at how these new carbon yield tables compare to those provided as generic lookup tables to the industry.

  • Interpine Forestry undertook the FMA inventory for a forest growing in coastal Bay of Plenty consisting of 135.6 hectares of radiata pine planted in 1998 and 12.6 hectares of lusitanica also planted in 1998.
  • 34 FMA plots were installed within the forest; 3 within the lusitanica and 31 in the radiata pine.

The two charts below illustrate the differences between the cumulative carbon volumes between the MPI standard lookup tables (yellow line) and the forest – specific tables issued by MPI using the FMA data (blue line). As you can see the forest is yielding substantially more carbon than the standard lookup tables predict.



What does this means for the forest owner?

For Radiata

  • Using the MPI standard lookup table for radiata pine grown in the Bay of Plenty the forest owners would be entitled to 131 NZUs per hectare (17,764 in total) for the first commitment period (five years). Now using their specific lookup table they will receive 247.8 NZUs per hectare (33,602 in total)
  • Nearly double.


For lusitanica

  • under the MPI Exotic Softwood table, would yield 68 NZUs per hectare (816 in total) for the first commitment period.
  • Now using their specific lookup table they will receive 219.2 NZUs per hectare (2,630 in total)
  • 3 times as much.

In money terms

  • That’s a total increase of 17,652 NZUs over the five years.
  • Applying a conservative price of $10 per NZU (because let’s face it no one will be selling their Post 1989 units for $2 each) that is an additional $176,520 worth !!!
  • For those attached to the current $2 per NZU (Mar 2013) price that’s still an additional $35,304 !

So did it pay for the FMA Inventory: YES Potentially many many times over !