Q&As

'CommAg commends Queensland Government commitment to cleaner, greener energy future'

Thursday May 7, 2015

The below media release is from 24 April 2015 has been provided by Ian Conrad, CommAg Limited.

CommAg commends Queensland Government commitment to cleaner, greener energy future

CommAg Limited welcomes the Queensland Government's commitment to advance the development of ethanol bioenergy projects in Queensland.

The move, which was announced yesterday in the joint Ministerial Media Statement "Towards a cleaner, greener energy future", aims to expand the State's biofuels and biomanufacturing industries.

CommAg has made representations to the State Government to reintroduce an ethanol mandate in Queensland. The proposed mandate would require 5% of unleaded fuel sold in Queensland to be ethanol, with the introduction of the mandate to coincide with the commencement of biofuel production.

There are three major ethanol biofuel projects in development phase located in the Townsville hinterland.

Queensland based company North Queensland Bio-Energy Corporation Limited (NQBE) is currently planning the construction of a $520 million sugar (raw and white), ethanol and power generation facility in Ingham.

Austcane Energy Ltd intends to build an Ethanol and Cogeneration plant in the Burdekin while Renewable Developments Australia Pty Ltd has secured long term rights to develop 67,000 hectares of land on the Cape River (about 80km south-west of Charters Towers) to develop a vertically integrated business that will plant and harvest cane to feed a state-of-the-art ethanol plant.

An ethanol mandate should provide the final piece in the jigsaw puzzle required to secure funding for these projects.

CommAg has lobbied for a compulsory ethanol blend at levels that will match available Queensland produced supply.

The Ministerial Media Statement states: “As part of our plan to steer the state towards a sustainable energy future, it is intended to require the big oil companies to make available an ethanol blend in their fuel."

Ian Conrad, CommAg director said his organisation very much welcomed the Queensland Government's decision to support the development of an ethanol bio-energy industry in North Queensland.

"We hope that oil companies will be required to do more than merely provide an E10 or similar option," Mr Conrad said.

"E10 sales do not currently form large part of the market and we think take-up will be limited. Oil companies should be required to provide an ethanol blend in place of ordinary unleaded fuel. At the very least, the ethanol blended fuel should be presented as the default option on every set of pumps."

"We have appreciated the opportunity given to CommAg to argue the benefits of an ethanol mandate. The Community Cabinet held recently in Townsville provided high level access to Government to argue our case."

"Townsville Member Scott Stewart has taken a keen interest and played a pivotal role in presenting the economic case to cabinet. We look forward to engaging further with the Government in the promised consultation process".

CommAg is a not-for-profit incubator of regional value added agri-business and agri-supply chain projects. CommAg, based in Townsville, was founded by Sister City Partners Ltd and MacDonnells Law.

CommAg aims to assist proponents of these projects to overcome "road blocks", prove up their project business model, help them to become investment ready and assist with capital raising.

CommAg also facilitates the creation of joint ventures between North Queensland producers, processors and wholesalers in China and other export markets.

The organisation aims to create vertically integrated supply chains that deliver to local growers and processors, part of the premium paid in China and other export markets for Australian clean green branded product.

CommAg is actively engaged in projects involving the potential export of beef, seafood and rice produced in North Queensland.

For more information contact:
Ian Conrad
Director, CommAg
(07) 4722 0247

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