July 11 (Renewables Now) - The government of the Australian state of Queensland on Monday announced support for a AUD-60-million (USD 45.5m/EUR 40m) biorefinery project on the Atherton Tableland in the state.
The support comes from the state government's AUD-4-million Biofutures Acceleration Program and will be used by the company proposing the project, MSF Sugar Pty Ltd, to progress feasibility studies to speed up the start of construction.
The biorefinery complex will be powered by an onsite 24-MW bagasse-fuelled power station and is expected to produce 110,000 tonnes of raw sugar per year, 55 million litres (14.5m gallons) of ethanol biofuel, and electricity for the grid.
"The company will trial large-scale blue agave cropping as an alternative feedstock to sugarcane in the off-growing season, potentially allowing the biorefinery to operate 12 months of the year," said Minister for State Development Anthony Lynham.
The project is expected to create 80 construction and farming jobs and 50 operational jobs. It is part of Queensland's ambition to develop a AUD-1-billion export-oriented biotechnology and bioproducts sector.
(AUD 1 = USD 0.758/EUR 0.666)