Vic biodiesel refinery back in business
Barnawartha biodiesel plant in north-east Victoria has restarted operations, commencing production of low-carbon renewable biofuels B5, B20 and B100.
Just Biodiesel, in partnership with Refueling Solutions, has reopened the plant after its closure in 2016, to produce biodiesel, a renewable, clean-burning diesel replacement that will reduce Australia’s dependence on foreign petroleum, with the added benefit of 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 recommissioned 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,” he 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.
“Currently Australia lags well behind other nations in the production of biofuels and receipt of its knock-on benefits. 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,” she explained.
“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.
“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% (B5) or 20% (B20) biodiesel, offering a real alternative to traditional diesel,” she concluded.
When it comes to fuel independence and security, Australia is reported to be falling behind other nations and has been named as the least prepared developed nation to deal with a crisis, having low emergency fuel reserves. Figures produced by the Department of Energy show that fuel stockpiles at the end of October 2018 were 27 days of total petroleum products, 22 days of petrol and 17 days of diesel.
Fortunately, Australia’s future bioeconomy is ideally placed to transition regional economies and create opportunities for growing regional towns, creating high-value jobs and reducing emissions across multiple sectors.
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