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Biorefinery planned for regional Queensland

A drive to attract biorefinery investors to Queensland is paying off, with the Queensland Government announcing plans today for a biorefinery by US Biotechnology company, Amyris.

In San Diego for the BIO2017 International Convention, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the planned biorefinery could create upwards of 70 jobs and further boost Queensland’s reputation globally as a leading biofutures location.

“Amyris is seeking to replicate its successful biorefinery in Brazil and sees Queensland as an ideal location due to the abundance of sugarcane and close proximity to Asia,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

“The company’s proposed biorefinery would aim to produce 23,000 tonnes a year of a sugar cane-based ingredient called farnesene which is used in a range products including cosmetics, fragrances, nutraceuticals, polymers, and lubricants.”

Amyris President & CEO John Melo said he was very pleased with the commitment of the Queensland Government to be leaders of the Bioeconomy.

“Our growing demand in China for Vitamins and the Asian demand for cosmetics and fragrances supports a new specialty farnesene fermentation factory in Queensland,” Mr Melo said.

“The funding from the Queensland Government along with the operating expertise and sugar cane base of our local partner makes this factory possible and enable savings from our current production in Brazil and the associated shipping costs.

“Like all our new projects, this factory is expected to be sold out when it starts operating with agreements to supply our current partners in China and other Asian markets.

“Queensland offers an excellent location option for Amyris with its favorable business climate, extensive sugar industry and geographic proximity to these markets.”

Ms Palaszczuk said the proposed Amyris biorefinery was another step towards achieving Queensland’s vision for a $1 billion sustainable, export-oriented biotechnology and bioproducts sector.

“Acceleration of the Amyris project came out of the Queensland Government’s Biofutures Acceleration Program that offers support to companies to build commercial-scale biorefineries in regional Queensland to process materials such as agricultural and industrial waste,” she said.

“A total of 120 parties recently indicated interest in biorefining in Queensland through the program and 26 submitted detailed expressions of interest.

“The Queensland Government’s funding and support for biorefinery projects will create high-value jobs and investment in regional Queensland by using renewable feedstocks to create biofuel and other bioproducts.

“The Queensland Government is leading Australia’s bio-economic revolution through the Advance Queensland Biofutures 10-Year Roadmap and Action Plan.”

Founded in 2003 in the San Francisco Bay area by a group of scientists at the University of California Berkley, Amyris is a renewable products company producing sustainable alternatives to petroleum, plant and animal-based products across a wide range of consumer and industry segments.

The Premier met with Amyris in San Francisco last year.

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