Green diesel production begins in Queensland
Queensland’s first commercial ‘Green’ diesel production facility opened its doors today at Narangba.
The Eco Tech Biodiesel Plant will have a production capability of 30 million litres of biodiesel per annum, growing to an additional capacity of 75 million litres once at full production.
Launching the new facility, Deputy Premier, Treasurer and Minister for State Development, Trade and Innovation Anna Bligh said its establishment was a landmark for the future of Queensland’s sustainable, alternative fuels industry.
She said the Queensland Government was committed to the development of a renewable fuels industry, based upon ethanol and biodiesel, to help reduce the State’s reliance on petroleum.
“With growing consumer concern about climate change and the rising price of fuel and the world’s dwindling oil supplies, Queensland needs to position itself to develop a viable industry here that will meet demand while at the same time protecting our natural environment,” Ms Bligh said.
Biodiesel is made from natural renewable sources and is produced from a reaction of vegetable oil or animal fat mixed with alcohol and can be blended at almost any ratio with petroleum-based diesel. The most common blends are B5, a mix of 5 percent biodiesel and 95 percent petroleum diesel and B20, a mix of 20 percent biodiesel and 80 percent petroleum diesel.
Biodiesel is considered more environmentally friendly than petroleum diesel as it emits significantly less greenhouse gas, is biodegradable, non toxic and sulphur free.
“As the new Narangba plant uses tallow to produce its biodiesel, our meat industry will also be a big winner here,” Ms Bligh said.
“The plant will require 28,000 tonnes of tallow to meet its initial production demands, providing an important new opportunity for local tallow producers.”
Ms Bligh said the Government was currently in the process of developing an alternative fuels policy, which includes an Industry Action Plan for biodiesel.
“The alternative fuels policy and Biodiesel Industry Action Plan will build on the Government’s efforts to develop a State-based ethanol industry.
“As part of our $7.3 million dollar Queensland Ethanol Industry Action Plan, we recently launched a major marketing campaign to educate Queensland motorists about the benefits of using ethanol blended fuels and to dispel the many myths surrounding the use of ethanol.”
She said the Government was also backing biodiesel trials in Brisbane and on the SunshineCoast to examine its performance.
“Overseas, biodiesel is a big industry, with increasing demand in the United States and Europe. And growth in demand for diesel in Queensland is nearly twice that of petrol at around 4 percent per annum,” she said.
“Large diesel users, such as the mining, agriculture and road/rail freight industries, are particularly attractive markets for biodiesel.
“Biodiesel, particularly at higher level blends, is also an attractive fuel option for use in environmentally sensitive areas, like national parks and marine environments, due to is relative low toxicity and biodegradability.”
Eco Tech Bio Diesel is a joint venture between Australia’s largest independent petroleum producer, Gull Petroleum, and a group of independent businessmen.
The Western Australian-based Gull Petroleum was the first retailer in Australia to offer biodiesel to motorists.
Besides its new plant at Narangba, Gull also recently announced plans to develop a biodiesel facility in Western Australia.