The Queensland State Governmen says it is “throwing its support” behind a proposed $60 million biofuels refinery planned for the Atherton Tablelands.
State Development Minister Anthony Lynham said the project, which is expected to create 80 construction and farming jobs and an additional 50 operational jobs, would be a “further boost” to the reigonal economy, and forma key part of ambitions to create a major $1 billion export oriented biofuels indsutry.
The proposed Atherton Tableland biorefinery, which also comprises plans for a 24MW onsite bagasse power station, would produce 110,000 tonnes of raw sugar, 200,000 MW of energy for the grid, and 55 million litres of ethanol annually.
MSF Sugar, whichis developing the project, will trial large scale blue agave cropping as an alternative feedstock to sugarcane in the off season. If successful, this could allow the plant to operate for 12 months of the year.
The Government is providing funding to MSF for feasibility studies, and to accelerate the construction of the refinery.