Sugar en­er­gry un­der way on the Tablelands

Tablelands Advertiser - - NEWS -

MSF Sugar Tablelands Mill, just south-west of Mareeba, be­lieve they hold the an­swer to fix the short­age of baseload power, trans­form­ing agri­cul­tural prod­ucts tra­di­tion­ally con­sid­ered waste, into a baseload power.

A num­ber of coal­fired power sta­tions have been tipped to close over the next decade. The Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment has been urged to con­sider more re­new­able gen­er­a­tors to fix the pre­dicted short­age of baseload power.

MSF Sugar busi­ness de­vel­ope­ment gen­eral man­ager Hy­wel Cook said there is a $75 mil­lion green en­ergy power plant cur­rently un­der con­struc­tion on the Ather­ton Tablelands which could hold the key.

“Our green en­ergy power plant will turn a 100 per cent sugar cane fi­bre prod­uct know as bagasse into elec­tric­ity and it is our first foray into the ex­cit­ing bio­fu­els space,” Mr Cook said.

“The plant is cur­rently un­der con­struc­tion and will be pro­duc­ing 24 megawatts of elec­tric­ity which, ac­cord­ing to the Queens­land Governe­ment Pow­er­ing North Queens­land, is enough to power 26,280 homes .” MSF Sugar plans to de­velop 4,000 hectares of farm­land into agave, a new crop grown ex­ten­sively in Mex­ico to pro­duce tequila, as a source of biomass ma­te­rial.

Mr Cook said the plant will come on­line in June 2018 and once op­er­a­tional, the plant will be driven by bagasse, which the sec­ond crop blue agave be­ing in­ves­ti­gated to sup­ple­ment the cane to en­sure re­li­able 12 month op­er­a­tions.

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