Expert says Bundaberg has biofuel potential

bundaberg biofuel potential
Sugarcane is one of the potential feedstocks making the Bundaberg Region a viable location for a biofuel refinery.

A biofuels expert has briefed Council on the future potential for a biofuel industry in the Bundaberg Region.

TfA engineering manager Keith Sharp said the region produced many of the common types of materials used to create biofuels, known as feedstocks.

“There’s a lot of potential within the Bundaberg Region,” Keith said.

“There is quite a diverse range of agricultural crops and there's obviously the sugar industry as well.”

With more advanced technology Keith said the industry had moved away from only relying on traditional feedstocks like sugarcane and molasses.

“These days products like bagasse, domestic waste are all potential feedstock.

“Even waste plastic can be turned in to biofuels.

“There is quite a good range of potential feedstocks in the Bundaberg Region.

“You’ve got a diverse range of products you can make.”

Those products include ethanol, biojet fuel, renewable diesel and biodegradable plastics.

Keith said the real benefit for the region was the opportunity for certain sectors to reduce waste streams and increase profit.

“It enables people to diversify and get multiple income streams from some of their existing waste they produce,” he said.

“That’s part of the benefits. You can diversify your income.”

Council exploring Bundaberg's biofuel potential

Mayor Jack Dempsey said Council was committed to exploring opportunities for diversification into biofuels.

“I believe the Bundaberg Region is perfectly positioned to take advantage of the growing biofuel industry,” Mayor Dempsey said.

“By utilising existing feedstocks already being produced right across the region, local companies can diversify their business by making the most of what would otherwise be a waste product.

“Council will also be exploring any federal policy changes that may be required to incentivise the Australian biofuels industry, along with global market opportunities the region could service in to the future.”

Keith has had 18 years’ experience in the biofuel industry with his first project assisting in the establishment of the Dalby biorefinery.

“That’s what really got me motivated and involved in the bio arena in terms of sustainable fuels,” Keith said.

He believes there is potential for growth in the industry.

“In the last 10 years there haven’t been any new facilities,” he said.

“In terms of growth in the industry there hasn’t been a lot of growth partially it is the renewed interest at the moment coming from the fact that Queensland has a new mandate now.”

Any Bundaberg Region business currently exploring the biofuel industry can speak to Council’s economic development team for advice.