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State-of-the-art biofuels lab to be built in Queensland

A Queensland (QLD), Australia biofuels industry is one step closer with the world’s newest biocrude and biofuel laboratory to be built in central Queensland on the site of the recently announced Northern Oil Advanced Biofuels Pilot Plant. Southern Oil and JJ Richards & Sons, joint venture partners (JV) in the Northern Oil Refinery at Yarwun, near Gladstone, have announced the multi-million dollar laboratory will be constructed over the next few months.

According to a statement from Southern Oil,  a private, Australian-owned waste-oil refiner based in Wagga Wagga, New South Wales (NSW), the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) announced that it would provide AU$2.37 million in funding to help develop and construct the AU$5.3 million state of the art laboratory. Southern Oil will contribute the balance of the cost.

The laboratory will be part of the pilot plant and help to determine whether a compelling business case can be made to build a commercial-scale biorefinery to produce renewable diesel and jet fuels. Southern Oil Managing Director Tim Rose said the laboratory would provide “critical information” to help develop Australia’s biofuel industry.

A few weeks ago, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk visited our Gladstone waste lube oil re-refinery to announce that, with the State Government’s assistance, Southern Oil would develop an AU$16 million biofuels pilot plant on site, Rose said.

Rose added that the Northern Oil Advanced Biofuels Pilot Plant is scheduled to open in late 2016 and is the next step towards an AU$150 million commercial-scale biofuel plant.

Together with this new world-class laboratory, which is being built with the support of the Federal Government’s Australian Renewable Energy Agency, we take another critical step towards the development of a new renewables fuels industry for Queensland and Australia, Rose said.

According to Rose, the aim is that, within the next three years, the Northern Oil Advanced Biofuels Pilot Plant will have produced one million litres of fuel for use in field trials by the US Navy as part of its Great Green Fleet initiative, by the Australian Defence Force for the Navy, by Australian heavy road transport operators and possibly for the aviation sector.

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