Biodiesel on track

The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Resources -

Aus­tralia’s ca­pac­ity to pro­duce ethanol and biodiesel is gain­ing strength de­spite the drought, ex­perts say.

APAC Bio­fuel Con­sul­tants re­leased a re­port in Bangkok this week at the Ad­vanced Global Bio­fuel Sum­mit which pre­dicts Aus­tralian bio­fuel pro­duc­tion ca­pac­ity will dou­ble this year to more than 600 mil­lion litres.

The re­port, pre­pared by APAC Bio­fuel Con­sul­tants prin­ci­pals Mike Cochran and Graeme Bethune, says bio­fuel pro­duc­tion could top 1000 mil­lion litres a year by mid-2009.

Cochran says de­mand for ethanol blends is grow­ing, driven by the rapid growth in the num­ber of re­tail out­lets sell­ing ethanol blends.

‘‘ Biodiesel, though, con­tin­ues to face chal­lenges — high feed­stock costs and com­mis­sion­ing dif­fi­cul­ties are con­tribut­ing fac­tors which have meant that biodiesel pro­duc­tion has been well be­low ca­pac­ity over the past six months,’’ he says.

‘‘ How­ever the out­look is im­prov­ing. The cost of ma­jor biodiesel feed stocks such as tal­low, canola and (im­ported) palm oil are be­gin­ning to move down from their highs ear­lier this year.’’

The re­port, Aus­tralian Bio­fuel Projects 2007, says to­tal bio­fuel pro­duc­tion is on track to meet the Aus­tralian Gov­ern­ment’s tar­get of 350 mil­lion litres by 2010.

APAC Bio­fuel Con­sul­tants is a joint ven­ture of ECCO Con­sult­ing and En­er­gyQuest.

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