Queensland’s burgeoning ethanol industry continued to go from strength to strength today with the announcement of more than $700,000 in State Government grants to three independent fuel groups.
Deputy Premier, Treasurer and Minister for State Development, Trade and Innovation Anna Bligh said the grants would assist the three fuel groups convert and market a number of stations throughout Queensland to ethanol blend fuels.
Ms Bligh said the announcement of the grants today was particularly pertinent as Queenslanders faced unprecedented prices at the bowser as the world crude oil price continued to skyrocket.
“The fuel watchdog Fueltrac predicted this week that motorists might be paying up to $1.50 a litre for petrol very soon and Queenslanders are today still paying an average of $1.30 a litre,” Ms Bligh said.
“So there has never been a more appropriate time to look at ways of reducing our reliance on traditional fossil fuels and developing the alternative fuels industry to the best of our abilities.
“Queensland is leading the nation in the uptake and use of ethanol blend fuels by motorists but there is still much, much more that can be done.
“The grants I’m announcing today will ultimately add 30 new outlets to the 128 service stations already offering ethanol blend fuels throughout the state.
“That’s an incredible achievement by the government and the fuel industry when you consider that just 18 months ago there were only 40 service stations stocking E10 in Queensland.
“The government is determined that this alternative, cleaner, greener fuel will establish and maintain a firm foothold in Queensland and ultimately, I’d like to get to the point where it is available at all fuel outlets.”
Today’s grants under the Beattie Government’s Queensland Ethanol Conversion Initiative were awarded to:
* Freedom Fuels Retail which receives $365,000 to convert 13 service stations
* Neumann Petroleum which receives $300,000 to convert 17 stations
* United Petroleum which receives $70,000 to market E10 at 24 outlets
Ms Bligh said the funding was awarded as part of the State Government’s $7.3 million Queensland Ethanol Initiative 2005-07, which included a $2.3 million marketing campaign to be unveiled next month at the Ethanol 2006 Australia Conference, to be staged in Brisbane.