Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has officially opened the $18 million Northern Oil Advanced Biofuels Pilot Plant in Yarwun, Gladstone.
Ms Palaszczuk said she welcomed the investment by New South Wales company Southern Oil to establish the the first commercial-scale advanced biofuels pilot plant in Queensland.
“This plant is the start of a whole new industry for Queensland. It will take agricultural waste such as bagasse from sugar production and turn it into biofuels,” she said.
“It offers to create sustainable jobs and deliver a new source of power that would have a minimum impact on our precious environment.
“We still have a long way to go to establish an internationally-competitive biofuels industry, but today is a significant milestone on that journey.”
Member for Gladstone Glenn Butcher said the pilot plant was an investment boon for Gladstone and would be in addition to the $70 million waste lube oil re-refining plant Southern Oil Refining currently operates.
“Significantly, Gladstone is once again at the forefront of a new industry for Queensland just as we have been at forefront for the LNG industry,” he said.
The Premier said that the Queensland Government had a vision for a $1 billion sustainable, export-oriented biofuels sector.
It had formulated a 10-year Action Plan and Roadmap to grow the industry and committed nearly $20 million to develop the biotechnology sector, she said.
At the Northern Oil Advanced Biofuels Pilot Plant opening, a representative of the Burdekin Cane Growers signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Southern Oil to take some of their bagasse to convert it into biofuels.