Babinda bets on biore­fin­ery push

The Weekend Post - - News -

A SMALL Far North­ern town is cry­ing out for a biore­fin­ery at a de­mol­ished sugar mill site.

Babinda Cham­ber of Com­merce floated the idea when US biotech­nol­ogy firm Amyris an­nounced it was con­sid­er­ing the con­struc­tion of a biore­fin­ery in Queens­land.

Babinda Cham­ber of Com­merce vice-president Gene Cham­ber­lain said the town needed an eco­nomic boost.

“If it is go­ing to em­ploy peo­ple from the town, then that is what we need,” he said.

An eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment plan for the town iden­ti­fies an op­por­tu­nity to take ad­van­tage of the sugar milling in­dus­try’s move into other prod­ucts.

“Pro­pos­als have been de­vel­oped to es­tab­lish in the Babinda area, biomass pro­duc­tion of elec­tric­ity and other prod­ucts based partly on sugar cane trash,” the plan said.

The old sugar mill site is owned by MSF Sugar and is lo­cated next to the Bruce High­way.

MSF Sugar chief ex­ec­u­tive Mike Barry said the block was not suit­able for such an in­dus­trial de­vel­op­ment.

“For a biore­fin­ery, you typ­i­cal need to be bol­stered on to a milling op­er­a­tion,” he said.

“You wouldn’t build one from scratch.”

Mr Barry said the com­pany had re­ceived no for­mal ap­proaches about a biore­fin­ery pro­posal in Babinda.

“These are very … com­plex projects,” he said.

The 27.9ha mixed-use de­vel­op­ment site has a $4 mil­lion price tag and con­sid­ered suited for a truck stop.

The State Gov­ern­ment is push­ing an Ad­vance Queens­land Bio­fu­tures 10-Year road map and ac­tion plan.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.