Biofuels could be the next LNG: Queensland Premier

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has said the biofuel industry could become a major part of the state’s economy, and as significant as liquid natural gas.

Speaking to a meeting of around 300 investors at a north Queensland economic summit in Cairns, the Premier said Queensland already farms crops suitable for conversion to biofuel and the economy could thrive if a biofuels industry was embraced.

“Our prosperity can no longer rely solely on the broad shoulders of our miners and our farmers … change is coming in every single field of endeavour,” she said, as reported by The Australian.

“We shouldn’t fear this. This is a time of immense possibilities. We must embrace it.”

A new ethanol mandate is being introduced in Queensland vehicle fuels from next year, but the state also has an eye on the potential to supply the US Navy with biofuel in order to meet ‘Green Fleet’ commitments.

On the state’s Sunshine Coast, a biofuel company is set to experiment with a new biofuel crop and new technology it says can change the biofuels industry in Australia.

Elimbah-based BioEnergy Plantations Australia and EnerGreen Nutrition Australia are using the pongamia plant as a sustainable biofuel crop and believe its ability to be grown on marginal land could see it become a key crop in the biofuel industry. The business is working with the University of Queensland to assist with the genetic commercialisation of the crop, which can produce up to 9.66 tonnes of oil per hectare, as reported by Energy Business News.

A key part of the advantage is a portable processor called a BioCube, which can produce up to 400 litres of biofuel per hour on site.