Queensland's Utilitas to build USD-14.5m biorefinery

Photo by Steve Jurvetson (Flickr) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Sep 13 (Renewables Now) - Australian biohub developer Utilitas plans to build an AUD-18-million (USD 14.5m/EUR 12m) biorefinery in Bundaberg, Queensland, with the support of the local government.

Premier Annastascia Palaszczuk announced the news on Wednesday, saying that the project will receive support as part of the government’s AUD-4-million Biofutures Acceleration Program.

“This project will seek to re-purpose the soon-to-be-retired Bundaberg East Wastewater Treatment Plant, with the aim of forming a world-leading biotechnology and education hub for the future,” Palaszczuk stated.

Queensland-based Utilitas expects to start construction work in late 2018, once it concludes the current feasibility phase. At the site, the company intends to convert waste from the Bundaberg Rum Distillery into green electricity and biocrude. The particular distillery is run by a unit of British alcoholic beverages company Diageo Plc (LON:DGE).

“Additional refining processes could lead to value-adding bioproducts, including potentially bioplastics for the horticultural industry, to reduce and replace traditional plastic film use,” commented state development minister Anthony Lynham.

(AUD 1.0 = USD 0.804/EUR 0.671)

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