A $26 million expansion of a Dalby ethanol bio refinery will generate approximately 50 local jobs and potentially boost demand for Darling Downs sorghum.
Minister for State Development Dr Anthony Lynham said the Palaszczuk Government was providing an incentive package to accelerate the expansion by plant owners, United Petroleum.
“This is great news for local jobs and for local growers,” Dr Lynham said.
“Our biofutures revolution will create high-value jobs and investment in regional Queensland and expanding markets for our rural producers.
“That’s why the Palaszczuk Government’s is pumping $20 million into our futures industry plan, with a vision to develop goal a $1 billion sustainable and export-oriented industrial biotechnology and bioproducts sector by 2025.”
United Petroleum’s Dalby bio-refinery already produces 76 million litres of ethanol a year from locally-grown sorghum. The plant also produces animal feed products and syrup.
The expansion will boost biofuel production capacity by 24 million litres to 100 million litres a year.
Dr Lynham said United Petroleum was also start running scientific studies to boost sales of its animal feed product.
“The biorefinery is already the largest customer for red sorghum growers on the Downs, and this expansion also has the potential to increase their market,” he said.
The proposed expansion at Australia’s first grain-to-ethanol facility is part of multi-million dollar investment in 21stcentury biofutures plants that could generate more than 330 jobs in regional Queensland.
“Our funding and support for biorefinery projects will create jobs of the future in regional Queensland by primarily using renewable feedstocks to create biofuel and other bioproducts,” Dr Lynham said.
“Queensland is leading Australia’s biofutures revolution with our Advance Queensland Biofutures 10-Year Roadmap and Action Plan.”
Last week Premier Annastascia Palaszczuk was in the United States at the world’s largest biotechnology event – BIO 2017 – to promote Queensland as a prime investment destination.
The Premier announced that US biotechnology company Amyris would build a biorefinery in a Queensland sugarcane region, creating 70 jobs.
Amyris aims to produce 23,000 tonnes a year of a sugar cane-based ingredient called farnesene used in bio-products including cosmetic emollients, fragrances, fuels, solvents, lubricants and nutraceuticals.