Community, Health

Coal boilers to get heave-ho at hospital

Mechanical compliance coordinator Duncan Jarvie. Photo: Paula Hulburt.

Coal hungry boilers are set to be ditched as part of a $5 million fund boost to future-proof Wairau Hospital.

Over the last eight years, three old coal boilers have burnt through an average of 8,000 tonnes of coal.

Health bosses have pledged to help reduce carbon emissions by choosing greener alternatives instead.

Health Minister David Clark last week revealed Nelson Marlborough Health was one of several health boards around the country to benefit.

Revealing the funds boost, Dr Clark says the move was part of a wider initiative to move towards more environmentally friendly options.

“In Nelson Marlborough we’re future proofing our hospitals by replacing aging, dirty coal-burning boilers with modern, green alternatives

“Today’s announcement means DHBs can get to work now on the detailed planning work needed to make all these projects, and many more, a reality.

“That will mean better health services for New Zealanders, and a more sustainable and secure future for our public health service, Dr Clark says.

Nelson Marlborough Health chief executive Peter Bramley welcomed the move, saying the boilers needed to be replaced with “some urgency.”

“We need to replace the Wairau boilers with some urgency and welcome this funding announcement.

“While we don’t know exactly what fuel source or system will be best for Wairau Hospital, we can assure the community that it will not be coal-based.

“We look forward to a ‘greener’ future for our hospitals,” he says.

A three-month trial into using a wood pellet fuelled replacement has been postponed while engineering issues are investigated further.

No time frame for the replacements is yet in place.

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