Gladstone Region Mayor Matt Burnett today welcomed news US company Mercurius will be proceeding with a pilot plant biorefinery in the Central Queensland city.
Mercurius has commenced detailed design of the pilot biorefinery and will begin construction in months after securing State Government funds.
The pilot plant will be the trial site for jet fuel and diesel production from agricultural and forestry waste.
“We have met with Mercurius many times, encouraging them to expand their energy portfolio to our region,” Cr Burnett said.
Mercurius managing director Michael Vevera said the company saw Queensland as an ideal destination to further develop its patented REACH biotechnology.
“This is due to the abundance of feedstocks, coupled with the Queensland Government’s continued commitment to build a strong biofutures industry,” he said.
Mercurius was attracted to Queensland by the State Government’s Biofutures Acceleration Program in 2017.
The Mercurius pilot biorefinery will be co-located on the Northern Oil Refinery at Yarwun.
It is expected to employ about 30 people during its three-month operational period.
Mercurius then plans to build a larger demonstration plant, which would scale up production of biofuels and bio-chemicals.
State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning Minister Cameron Dick said Mercurius’ world-leading biotechnology would bring Queensland a step closer to achieving a $1 billion biofutures industry by 2026.
The pilot is supported through the Palaszczuk Government’s $150 million Jobs and Regional Growth Fund, which helps to facilitate private sector projects that create regional employment and economic growth opportunities.
Through the state’s Advance Queensland Industry Research Fellowships program, QUT also secured $300,000 over three years to fund research on Mercurius’ biotechnology at the pilot plant.