The Turnbull Government is providing up to $3 million early-stage funding support towards an ambitious project that may result in an innovative renewable biofuel production facility being built at Pentland in North Queensland.
The funding, through the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), will allow Renewable Developments Australia to develop a detailed business case for the landmark $800 million renewable bio-energy plant.
The plant would be able to produce up to 350 million litres of fuel grade bio-ethanol per year and could see Australia’s biofuel production increase by 80 per cent.
The business case will be critical for securing lending and investment finance to enable the plant’s construction.
The proposed facility is designed to be completely renewable and self sufficient and would be powered by a 32 megawatt co-generation power plant fed by the facility’s own waste by-products.
The project’s scale, coupled with its advanced and innovative processing techniques, could see the price of renewable fuels such as ethanol drop in the long-term, providing a real alternative to fossil fuels in the transport sector.
The project is a great example of Australian business ingenuity and innovation and will provide invaluable insights into the barriers large-scale renewable bio-energy project face on the road to commercialisation.
The business case is due for completion by November 2016 and, if the plant proceeds, ARENA is able to recover the $3 million funding.