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Big step forward for new biofuels industry in Queensland

Staff writer |
A $16 million advanced biofuels pilot plant will be built at Southern Oil Refining’s Yarwun plant at Gladstone, a "giant" step towards securing a large-scale biofuels industry in Queensland.

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Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the Northern Oil Advanced Biofuels Pilot Plant represented an exciting step in the development of an advanced biofuels industry for Queensland.

If successful, the pilot plant will be expanded to a large commercial-scale refinery costing $150 million and producing 200 million litres of advanced biofuel annually, suitable for military, marine and aviation use.

Joining State Development Minister Anthony Lynham and Biofuels Minister Mark Bailey in Gladstone to make the announcement, the Premier said it would be Australia’s first commercial-scale advanced biofuels production facility.

“I’m all about new industries because they will deliver new jobs and more prosperity, especially in regional Queensland,” the Premier said.

“A fully-fledged biofuels industry has the potential to play a key role in our economic future, and this pilot plant is a giant step towards achieving that goal.

“This pilot plant is essentially the launch site for a Queensland biofuels industry. If we can develop this plant into a large-scale refinery, that’ll mean jobs here in Gladstone, but it could also kick off a new wave of investment and job creation across Queensland.

“And with the Government’s help, we have managed to get this investment out of New South Wales and into Queensland – something I’m keen to see more of.”

Southern Oil Refining currently operates a waste lube oil re-refining plant at Yarwun in the Gladstone State Development Area as a joint venture with JJ Richards & Sons.

The $70 million plant is the only waste lube oil re-refining facility in Queensland, and has the potential to process all of the State’s 100 million litres annually of waste lube oil.

The advanced biofuels pilot plant will be co-located with the Yarwun re-refining facility.

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