Queensland to partner US Navy in massive biofuel initiative

Queensland’s future as the biofuel hub for the Asia-Pacific has further been advanced with the signing of a high-level agreement between the Palaszczuk Government and the United States Navy.

The development is part of the Great Green Fleet initiative, which outlines the US navy’s commitment to source 50 per cent of fuel from renewable sources by 2020.

It also seeks to highlight how energy efficient technology and procedures and alternative energy can allow US navy ships to go farther, stay longer and deliver more firepower.

“This is a huge vote of confidence in our developing biofuels industry and puts Queensland in the box seat to supply the Pacific fleet,” the Premier 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.”

Ms Palaszczuk first discussed Queensland’s role in the Great Green Fleet initiative at a meeting with Mr Hicks at the Pentagon in June last year.

The Government has dedicated almost $20 million in four funds to stimulate key areas of the state’s industrial biotechnology and bioproducts sector and launched a 10-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,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

The agreement, signed at a Parliament House ceremony, outlines the parties’ commitment to explore the research, development, supply and sale of advanced “drop-in” alternative fuels.

US Deputy Under Secretary of the Navy for Management Thomas Hicks said: “That is what is most exciting for us, is how these fuels that are developed here can be used not only for ourselves, but in private industry as well.”