Queensland’s ambition to be a centre for the biofuels industry has received a major boost with the signing of a deal to supply the US Navy’s so-called “Green Fleet.”
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and United States Deputy Under Secretary of the Navy for Management Thomas Hicks signed a Statement of Cooperation at Parliament House in Brisbane as part of the Great Green Fleet initiative.
The move comes on the eve of the annual Biofuels Symposium which is fittingly to be held in Brisbane next week.
The Great Green Fleet is the popular nickname of the carrier strike group serving as the US Navy‘s proving ground for the viability of biofuels, and there is a commitment to use 50 percent biofuels by 2020. Ships from the fleet are in Australian waters this week.
‘This is a huge vote of confidence in our developing biofuels industry and puts Queensland in the box seat to supply the Pacific fleet,’ Premier Palaszczuk said.
‘The partnership we have signed with the US Navy underlines the huge potential to build a new industry that will make Queensland the biofuel hub of the Asia Pacific.
‘I have long been talking about the need to diversify our economy, create new industries, and lock in the next wave of long-term, export-orientated job opportunities.
‘The signing of this partnership between Queensland and the US Department of the Navy is a giant stride towards reaching those goals.’
The Queensland government has dedicated almost $20 million (€18m) in four funds to stimulate key areas of the state’s industrial biotechnology and bioproducts sector and launched a ten-year Roadmap to develop the industry.
‘We have also been able to lure Southern Oil Refining from NSW and the $16 million pilot plant they are building at Yarwun has a key role to play in this emerging giant of an industry,’ Palaszczuk said.