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Licella awarded AU$1 million grant to commercialise Plasticrude in Australia

Australia-headed process technology developer Licella Pty Ltd has signed an agreement with the Australian government for AU$1 million Accelerating Commercialisation (AC) grant. Part of the government’s Entrepreneur’s Programme which supports Australian innovations in reaching commercialisation, the grants are offered on a dollar-matched basis, with the maximum being AU$1 million.

At the AU$1 million award signing, back row (left) Peter Ryan, Entrepreneurs’ Program, AusIndustry – Business Services; Steve Rogers Business Development Manager, Licella and John Grew, Commercialisation, Department of Industry, Innovation & Science. Seated are Gordon Ewart, CFO, Licella and Dr Len Humphreys, CEO, Licella (photo courtesy Licella).

According to a statement, Licella will use this AU$1 million to assist in constructing an end to end Cat-HTR demonstration plant for waste plastic at the company’s existing pilot plant, located at Somersby, on the New South Wales (NSW) Central Coast.

Support waste diversion and fuel security

The project will support two important National priorities; diverting plastic from landfill and oceans and assisting Energy Security through the provision of Sustainable Liquid Fuels. In Australia, mid-distillate fuels account for approximately AU$20 billion annually, with over 90 percent of these being imported according to the June 2015 Federal Government report on Transport Fuel Resilience and Sustainability.

In addition, Australia has a serious problem with waste and it is estimated that by 2036, waste generated in Australia will have doubled from the last ABS known data. Waste policies are established by the States – New South Wales (NSW), Victoria (VIC), South Australia (SA) and Western Australia (WA) have all implemented escalating landfill levies to help address the issue.

Market opportunity for Licella Plasticrude

Licella is “excited” to be investing, alongside the Australian government, in the commercial development of its Cat-HTR platform within Australia. In March this year, the company signed a joint venture (JV) with Armstrong Chemicals to build commercial-scale Cat-HTR plants for End-of-Life Plastic (ELP) in the UK. This project sits outside of the JV, with Licella pioneering the ELP to fuels field within Australia.

For waste companies in most States, Licella says it may be able to reduce their costs of ELP disposal through avoidance of landfill levies and tipping fees. By demonstrating the Cat-HTR’s commercial feasibility for waste plastic this plant paves the way for the construction of Australia’s first commercial waste plastic to fuels/chemicals plant, which will most likely be located at an existing waste processing facility.

For fuel blenders, Licella says that it’s “Plasticrude” can provide a high cetane blendstock, which is attractive in meeting fuel specifications. For customers, it provides sustainable fuels, waxes, and chemicals which are of increasing demand. Licella’s Plasticrude is also low in sulphur, thereby producing low sulphur fuels, which are of increasing demand especially in the marine market, where there is a lack of supply.

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