(AUSTRALIA)

Queensland is fast becoming an important global capital of the burgeoning biofuel industry.

The innovative Australian state is already home to the country’s first advanced biofuels lab. And now a proposed $640 million biorefinery in Ingham, Queensland, has moved a step closer after the local government committed to providing North Queensland Bio-Energy – the company behind the plans – with a $1.17 million loan to deliver the project.

Minister for State Development, Dr Anthony Lynham, said: “Queensland is leading Australia’s biofutures revolution and we’re well on the way to achieve a $1 billion biofutures industry by 2026.

“We have Southern Oil’s $18 million Advanced Biofuels Pilot Plant in Gladstone, $8.64 million assistance for Mackay’s proposed $50 million biorefinery and another biorefinery by United States biotechnology company, Amyris.”

The $640 million biorefinery will produce approximately 350,000 tonnes of sugar annually, have a flexible ethanol distillery capacity of between 90,000 and 200,000 litres per day and generate between 110 – 115 MW of renewable green power,’ according to the company’s website.

On the $1.17 million loan, North Queensland Bio-Energy Chairman, Robert Carey said: “It is the final piece of the jigsaw puzzle for the project in that it will allow for the completion of due diligence, which will enable the Project to move to financial closure.

“Completion of the due diligence will enable construction to start early next year, immediately after the 2018 wet season.”

The biorefinery is due to be operational by the summer of 2021.