Mills can’t come quick enough
IS the world economy headed for a petrol-starved collapse? Should we have been producing more ethanol from sugar years ago?
The answer to these questions is, maybe yes to a collapse caused by skyrocketing petrol prices, and definitely yes to ethanol production.
It seems major projects to develop ethanol mills in the Burdekin and Herbert districts can’t come quick enough with work to build the Burdekin Austcane plant set to start this year for commissioning in 2013.
The Herbert North Queensland Bio-Energy proposal recently de- ferred its start date to 2014 with production in 2015 or 2016.
Analysts are t alking about $ US125 a barrel of oil as the economic pain threshold where growth turns to contraction.
Recent events in the Middle East have served to underline just how exposed the world is, and with prices already around $ US100, just how quickly events could turn.
North Queensland Bio-Energy Corporation chairman Robert Carey last week congratulated Austcane on gaining its council approvals to proceed.
‘‘ In 20 years time people will look back and say this was the start of a revolutionary change in the Australian sugar industry,’’ Mr Carey said.
‘‘ There will be multi-functional factories right along Queensland’s sugar coastline.’’
Let’s hope they can be built soon enough.