Heat Source Fuel Series: Natural Gas

As one of New Zealand’s leading boiler and burner specialists, Tubman Heating Limited takes you through the various fuel types used to power your heating system. Different industries and processes will have various requirements and regulations pertaining to their specific needs.

Tubman Heating Industry Experts

Natural Gas

A heat source uses a fuel substance that is heated up, from which the heat can be extracted or absorbed. These fuels, along with your heating system, generate energy in the form of power, steam, hot air, hot water and more. Natural Gas is a fossil fuel energy source formed deep beneath earth’s surface, over millions of years and extracted either vertically or horizontally through a production well. All natural gas in New Zealand is sourced from 15 fields within the Taranaki region, both onshore and offshore. Natural gas is only transmitted and distributed across the North Island.

A heating device such as a burner requires a fuel source (Natural Gas), an ignition source and oxygen to create combustion. The gas and oxygen ratio needs to be calculated based on the consumption rate of the boiler and the expected usage of the heating system. Synthetic methane, biomethane, and hydrogen and gas blend are currently compliant with NZS 5442. Natural gas is used in the petrochemical sector, fertiliser manufacturing, steel manufacturing, wood processing and dairy plants. Commercially natural gas is used in hotels, greenhouses and in food manufacturing.

natural gas pie chart sectors

The NZ Government’s 2050 target of net-zero and low emissions aims to replace natural gas with hydrogen and existing gas pipelines will be repurposed for hydrogen and biogas, most modern boiler systems will be able to continue use with biogas options, with only a burner modification or upgrade required. While in this transition phase, natural gas remains a reliable and affordable fuel source for our customers. Natural gas use in a boiler heating system offers more precise control and monitoring capabilities, including remote access.  Compared to other fossil fuels, natural gas produces the least amount of CO2 when heated, and only half as much as coal. Clean combustion, due to no particulate emissions reduces the wear on the burner and boiler.

For advice on fuel options and heating system requirements, please contact your local branch on

Auckland 09 444 5076

Hamilton 07 838 3080

Wellington 04 939 4334


Gas and Liquid Fuel Boiler Systems SNZ PAS 5312:2021

Gas Industry Co. www.gasindustry.co.nz

Why is regular boiler maintenance important?

Instead of waiting until there is a problem with your boiler, servicing it every 3 months will reduce the chances of any serious and expensive breakdowns. Ongoing maintenance of essential heating equipment is integral to keeping certain organizations running efficiently. A boiler breakdown for industries such as hotels, hospital, food manufacturer and other steam applications, is going to have a huge and immediate impact on the business.

regular services

Tubman Heating Limited is available 24/7 all year round for emergency boiler and burner repairs, but preventative maintenance can reduce the risk of large scale breakdowns or limit the downtime caused by a breakdown. Quarterly services allow for checks on the boiler, burner and associated equipment for faults, damage, leaks and everyday wear. Cleaning the heating system is an important part of this process as rust and dirt can create extra stresses on the machinery, while allowing our technicians to properly assess all relevant components and their effectiveness. During a service, technicians can recommend upgrades, replacements and improvements to your heating system to ensure your heating system is running optimally.

importance of maintenance
THL service

Keeping your staff and customers safe is of the highest priority for all businesses in New Zealand. In order to do this, heating equipment should be maintained and inspected regularly to ensure it is operating optimally and safely. Incomplete combustion can be hazardous to the environment and damaging to the operation of the burner, therefore our technician will perform a combustion analysis and set the burner for optimal efficiency and safe operation during a service.

Steam boilers require an annual inspection by an authorised inspection agency to verify the ongoing safety of the boiler. Our technician will prepare the boiler for an internal review by the Inspector, followed by a steaming test to verify that the boiler is safe to operate.

To set up a regular maintenance schedule for your heating system, contact Tubman Heating Limited and speak with our Service Co-Ordinator Tracy on 09 444 5076.

Find us in the latest NZ Engineering News!

Oventrop is the partner for efficient heating, cooling and clean potable water – with pioneering modular systems and services. Tubman Heating Ltd are the New Zealand agent for Oventrop offering a range of valves and actuators for all your heating system needs. Contact your local branch for more information.

Oventrop products for heating systems NZ

Follow all the latest news, products and processes of the engineering industry both locally and internationally with NZEN https://engineeringnews.co.nz/

Oventrop Valves & Actuators in the latest issue of NZ Engineering News

Extended lead times for parts & products sourced from overseas

We are currently experiencing delays with sourcing products & parts from overseas. This is primarily due to COVID-related disruptions to global shipping lines, compounded with congestion at key New Zealand ports.

As a result we are seeing delays of up to 4 – 6 weeks to source parts from our European suppliers.

Our customers rely on us to keep their operations running smoothly. We work across a range of different heating system formats, so jobs often require highly specific parts. At first instance we may have your part in stock at a local Tubman Heating branch. If not, we will need to source the part from overseas.

If you’re experiencing any issues with your system, we encourage you to contact us as early as possible so that we can order any required parts sooner than later and minimise disruption to your business.

Please call us on one of the following numbers if you need our assistance:

Or email philip.vanpelt@tubman.co.nz

Coal boilers on their way out

Where are you with your heating system?

Perhaps this isn’t obvious but it’s a good time of year to think about whether your commercial or industrial heating system is up to scratch.

If your boiler is more than 20 years old, it may need replacement and in any event, it will benefit from regular servicing. 

Tubman Heating can help you with both.  For nearly 40 years we have been working with industry to maximise heating system effectiveness by installing new steam boilers, hot water boilers, and hot oil boilers. By replacing pipework and other associated equipment, repairing or replacing heat exchangers and changing fuels where a more energy-efficient and/or more eco-friendly option is available.

There is a variety of fuels used to fire boilers: natural gas, LPG, diesel, coal and other solid fuels (eg: wood pellets).  The fuel decision is complex as it involves considerations such as proximity to supply, available space to store fuel, reducing emissions and health and safety around the boiler house.  The government is keen to make sure that there are no coal boilers operating in NZ. 

If you’d like a review of your heating assets, please get in touch before the end of February.  This will allow time for any remedial action to occur before the “heating season” starts, usually during May. 

In closing we’d like to wish you a very happy Christmas and offer our best wishes for a bright and successful 2020.

Kind regards,

All the team at Tubman Heating