New biorefinery project to cre­ate op­por­tu­ni­ties

The Western Star - - RURAL WEEKLY -

A NEW $18-mil­lion biorefinery project in Bund­aberg will gen­er­ate more than 30 lo­cal jobs and po­si­tion the re­gion as an emerg­ing biotech­nol­ogy lo­ca­tion.

Speak­ing at the Bund­aberg Rum Dis­tillery, Premier An­nas­tas­cia Palaszczuk said that Queens­land-based bio­hub de­vel­oper Util­i­tas was look­ing at con­vert­ing waste from the dis­tillery into green elec­tric­ity, for re­turn to the dis­tillery, and biocrude.

“The Palaszczuk Gov­ern­ment is sup­port­ing this project for the jobs and busi­ness op­por­tu­ni­ties it will gen­er­ate lo­cally, and the con­tri­bu­tion it makes to­wards achiev­ing our vi­sion for a $1-bil­lion sus­tain­able, ex­port-ori­ented biotech­nol­ogy and bio-prod­ucts sec­tor,” he said.

“This project will seek to re-pur­pose the soon-to-be-re­tired Bund­aberg East Waste­water Treat­ment Plant, with the aim of form­ing a world-lead­ing biotech­nol­ogy and ed­u­ca­tion hub for the fu­ture.”

The Bund­aberg project is one of the bio­fu­tures projects sup­ported by the Palaszczuk Gov­ern­ment’s $4-mil­lion Bio­fu­tures Ac­cel­er­a­tion Pro­gram, gen­er­at­ing more than 330 jobs across re­gional Queens­land.

Util­i­tas plans to process feed­stock such as or­ganic trade and agri­cul­tural waste. At com­ple­tion of the cur­rent fea­si­bil­ity phase, con­struc­tion may com­mence from late 2018.

This in­cludes po­ten­tially us­ing waste from the dis­tillery and other lo­cal in­dus­tries in re­turn for gen­er­at­ing green elec­tric­ity and biocrude.

State De­vel­op­ment Min­is­ter Dr An­thony Lyn­ham said over the longer term the biorefinery could pro­duce bio­fu­els for po­ten­tial use by the Bund­aberg Re­gional Coun­cil, re­gional in­dus­try and fu­ture ex­port markets.

“Ad­di­tional re­fin­ing pro­cesses could lead to value-adding bio­prod­ucts, in­clud­ing po­ten­tially bio­plas­tics for the hor­ti­cul­tural in­dus­try, to re­duce and re­place tra­di­tional plas­tic film use,” he said.

Mem­ber for Bund­aberg Leanne Donaldson wel­comed the new project, which of­fered high-skill jobs of the fu­ture for lo­cals.

“Palaszczuk Gov­ern­ment fund­ing and sup­port for this project, and oth­ers like it, is cre­at­ing high-value jobs and in­vest­ment in re­gional Queens­land com­mu­ni­ties like Bund­aberg, and help­ing the en­vi­ron­ment,” she said.

Util­i­tas CEO Ms Fiona Water­house said the fund­ing would bring for­ward early works re­quired to pro­duce higher value bio­prod­ucts.

PHOTO: ALAS­DAIR YOUNG

ON THE WAY: A new biorefinery in Bund­aberg will join the one in Dalby to cre­ate more op­por­tu­ni­ties.

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