CHRISTCHURCH, NEW ZEALAND – 19 DECEMBER 2023 – Indigenous-led aerospace and environmental partnership, Tāwhaki Joint Venture, and liquid hydrogen solutions company, Fabrum, are teaming up to explore renewable energy transition projects for the aerospace industry and more resilient energy systems for communities.

The two Ōtautahi Christchurch-headquartered organisations have signed a collaboration agreement with a commitment to investigate renewable energy production via solar power, hydrogen production and storage options, and providing energy backup systems to the grid from Kaitorete, 50 minutes’ drive from Ōtautahi.

Kaitorete is home to the Tāwhaki National Aerospace Centre, where emerging aerospace technologies are taking flight. Tāwhaki is weaving together mātauranga Māori with cutting-edge innovation in aerospace and environmental rejuvenation to improve the well-being of all New Zealanders and stimulate economic growth.

Tāwhaki CEO Linda Falwasser says, “We all have a role to play to ensure a greener, sustainable future for a low-emissions, high-growth economy. It’s critical that we find new, sustainable land uses so our people and planet flourish for generations to come. We are absolutely committed to exploring renewable energy options for our facilities with Fabrum that will provide data, infrastructure and insights that have far-reaching benefits for the whole country.”

Fabrum CEO Dr Ojas Mahapatra says, “These are exciting times for New Zealand and an opportunity to lead energy transition globally. We believe in Tāwhaki’s vision of a sustainable future and are excited to be part of an emerging aerospace industry anchored at Kaitorete, Christchurch.”

Tāwhaki and Fabrum are specifically looking at a joint work programme that will include identifying clean and renewable energy production options such as integrated solar power grid farming, and producing and storing green hydrogen at Kaitorete.

Ms Falwasser says, “Rangatahi (young people) are looking at us to preserve their future. Our hope is that having renewable energy on site will support our operations as we scale up, bolster the electricity grid and chart a path for local communities to reduce carbon emissions with clean, affordable renewable electricity so Aotearoa can have resilient energy systems and meet our climate change goals.

“We also believe that by making green hydrogen easily accessible at Kaitorete we can encourage operators to test and trial green fuel options for aerospace and marine transportation, and cutting-edge technologies that will help us all reach a zero emissions future.”

Tāwhaki Joint Venture is an exemplar Māori-Crown joint venture partnership between Kaitorete mana whenua – Te Taumutu Rūnanga and Wairewa Rūnanga – and the Crown. In early 2024, Tāwhaki will be enabling horizontal space launch from its National Aerospace Centre with a new sealed runway. Watch this short 1-min video to learn more.

Fabrum leads the world in industrialized small to medium-scale liquefaction systems and composite cryogenic vessels. The company is actively deploying end-to-end liquid hydrogen solutions globally and its core competencies include green hydrogen production, storage, dispensing, and system integration.

From L-R: Fabrum CEO Dr Ojas Mahapatra and Tāwhaki CEO Linda Falwasser at Fabrum HQ in Ōtautahi, New Zealand for the signing of a collaborative agreement exploring renewable energy transition projects for the aerospace industry, and resilient energy systems for communities.

Seated: Fabrum CEO Dr Ojas Mahapatra and Tāwhaki CEO Linda Falwasser. Back row L-R: From Fabrum; Olivia Ross – Events and Communications, Ashley Brittenden- Head of Engineering, Nick Kolff-Loughrey – Chief Financial Officer. From Tāwhaki; Alicia Wainui-Glasson – General Manager, Stan Topping – Head of Aerospace Strategy & Global Partnerships, Ila Couch – Creative Content Producer, Julian Phillips – Head of Whenua Planning and Rejuvenation, Erana Riddell – Project Coordinator, Te Puawai Perenara-O’Connell – Project Coordinator, Rulon Nutira – Kaitorete Ranger, Graham Wadeson – Senior Aviation Consultant

An artist’s rendering of infrastructure upgrades currently underway at the Tāwhaki National Aerospace Centre at Kaitorete, Aotearoa New Zealand. Tāwhaki will be enabling horizontal space launch from its new sealed runway in early 2024.