Queensland’s Department of Environment and Heritage Protection has approved the construction of a new biofuels plant near Gladostone.
The new pilot plant, which will be built at Northern Oil Refinery in Yarwin, will turn waste such as tyre rubber into renewable oil for biofuels, opening up a whole new industry for Queensland.
Environment Minister Dr Steven Miles said the new plant will see Queensland become the home of a new, 21st century clean industry for Australia.
“Biofuels promises to be a revolutionary game changer for the environment, for transport fuels, and for regional Queensland economies,” the Minister said.
“This is the first facility in Queensland to recycle waste lubricating oil for re-use. In fact, this was a business destined for NSW but the Palaszczuk Government was able to attract the investment, and the jobs it brings, to Queensland.”
He said the environmental approval will allow Northern Oil to receive and treat a broader range of waste materials and convert them into renewable oil which can then be treated to become suitable for use across a range of sectors.
“The company is now ready to expand its operations to include wastes such as bagasse from sugar cane milling, green waste from regional cities, woody weeds like prickly acacia and tyres from the mining sector, heavy transport and passenger vehicles,” the Minister added.
Member for Gladstone Glenn Butcher said the plant would generate hundreds of new jobs in Central Queensland.
“The $16 million biofuels pilot plant is scheduled to open later this year and is the next step towards a $150 million, commercial-scale biofuel plant. The renewable oil it produces can be converted into quality fuels that can be marketed across a variety of industries and sectors that are looking to reduce their carbon footprints,” Mr Butcher said.
“In 2014-2015 4.76 million tonnes of waste went into landfill. In contrast, Northern Oil Refineries is proving that there are more innovative alternatives which not only reduce waste but can lead to a whole new economic sector. It’s also a clear indication that by working together in partnership industry and Government can achieve better waste management options and better environmental outcomes.”