Bundaberg is one step closer to becoming Queensland’s premier bio-manufacturing centre with news that Utilitas has obtained private investment to proceed with a planned bioHub.
The company announced today it has obtained private investment to go ahead with its plans for the decommissioned East Bundaberg wastewater treatment plant.
Utilitas engages with large organic waste producers to convert their waste into energy and bio-manufacturing such as textiles and cosmetics.
Talks are under way with potential Bundaberg bioHub tenants, including a possible aquaculture operation.
“After six years of working with Council and the Queensland Biofutures team, this new private investment allows us to start repurposing the old wastewater treatment plant for commercial bio-manufacturing,” Utilitas chief executive Fiona Waterhouse said.
“Repurposing and recycling are a vital part of the transition to a circular economy where waste is minimised by considering the full life cycle of materials, and redesigning products and operations to encourage greater reuse and recycling.
“Utilitas bioHubs give industrial sites a circular economy edge for investors, and cleaner, smarter and cheaper utility services for local industry tenants looking to establish and grow biofuel and bioproduct related businesses in the region.”
Bundaberg Regional Council’s water services laboratory and a Utilitas biorefining laboratory are already tenants of the site.
“We intend to establish a tenancy for advanced anaerobic digestion (AD) bioCNG to provide commercial demonstration of this alternative clean vehicle fuel that is competitive with diesel and natural gas,” Ms Waterhouse said.
“Utilitas is now working with several bio-manufacturing tenants interested in the unique site infrastructure to produce circular economy friendly building products, textiles and chemicals.”
Fast data for Bundaberg bioHub
Ms Waterhouse said Utilitas is also partnering with Oper8 Global to establish Australia’s first “green edge data centre” at the Bundaberg bioHub.
She said this will give tenants and other businesses access to local data centre capacity including support for hybrid cloud services and local IT hosting, using local carbon efficient power.
“The bioHub will process organic waste streams from the region such as agricultural and other waste forms,” Ms Waterhouse said.
“One byproduct of the bioHub will be recycled water which could be used to operate a fish farm, along with other biological processes, within the old wastewater treatment infrastructure.
“We are already discussing a tenancy with one aquaculture business for this option.
“Utilitas is on a mission to unleash the power of the biofuels and bioproducts industry for regional communities by delivering 100 bioHubs across Australia.
“The Bundaberg bioHub will be one of Australia’s first bioHubs that is part of this mission.”