The first shipment of wood pellet fuel destined for the European domestic market is due to leave port in the next few days.
Solid Energy manufactures the pellets from untreated pine wood residues.
The state-owned coal company says 600 tonnes of pellets will be shipped out of the port of Tauranga for sale to households in northern Italy.
Solid Energy says shipments will be made each month. The company says there's a growing overseas market for New Zealand wood pellets, and not only in Europe.