Australia’s newest biodiesel facility has officially opened and commenced production in Barnawartha, Victoria, and will supply low-carbon renewable B5, B20 and B100 to south-east Australia.
Just Biodiesel, in partnership with Refueling Solutions, will produce biodiesel, a renewable, clean-burning diesel replacement that is reducing Australia’s dependence on foreign petroleum, creating jobs and improving the environment.
Just Biodiesel general manager Greg Boyall said, “A return of 11 former employees to the recommissioned facility is a testament to the leadership of the company and commitment of the locals who have successfully re-commissioned the plant in a four-month period.
“We are confident with the anticipated growth and support from many local suppliers, substantial economic benefits will be achieved for the region,” Mr Boyall said.
Bioenergy Australia CEO Shahana McKenzie said the revitalisation of the biodiesel plant at Barnawartha has created new employment opportunities in the region to support the potential production of 50 million litres of biodiesel per annum.
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“Currently Australia lags well behind other nations in the production of biofuels and receipt of its knock-on benefits,” she said.
“A national biofuel industry could create over 8000 direct and indirect jobs, contribute over $1.1 billion annually to regional communities, reduce particulate matter in our air and reduce our reliance on important fuel.
“This project shows that a local industry creates jobs, enhances fuel security, and builds stronger regional economies. It will also contribute to the reduction in emissions across our transportation sector.”
Alarming reports continue to emerge regarding Australia’s low emergency fuel reserves leaving us vulnerable and creating a critical national security issue. Australia is languishing behind other nations in fuel independence and security and has been named as the least prepared developed nation to deal with a crisis. Figures produced by the Department of Energy show stockpiles at the end of October 2018 were 27 days total petroleum products, 22 days of petrol and 17 days of diesel.
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Australia’s future bioeconomy is however ideally placed to transition regional economies and create opportunities for growing regional towns, creating high-value jobs and reducing emissions across multiple sectors.
“Biodiesel is made from a diverse range of feedstocks including recycled cooking oil, and animal fats. Meeting strict technical fuel quality and engine performance specifications, it can be used in existing diesel engines without modification and is covered by all major engine manufacturers’ warranties, most often in blends of up to 5 percent (B5) or 20 percent (B20) biodiesel, offering a real alternative to traditional diesel,” Ms McKenzie concluded.
The Barnawartha biodiesel facility was officially opened by Dr John Hewson, Chair, Bioenergy Australia yesterday with over 100 attendees from the local community.