Queenslanders brewing biodiesel

NARANGBA, an industrial area north of Brisbane, is becoming a biodiesel production hub. A privately owned consortium, Eco Tech Bio Diesel, officially opened its Narangba plant this week, and next month ASX-listed Australian Biodiesel Group will open a larger facility in the same area.
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The Queensland Government’s Investment Attraction Unit has offered assistance for both plants.

The Eco Tech facility will produce 30 million litres of biodiesel a year from tallow and used cooking oils/fats. Eco Tech is a joint venture between a group of waste-to-energy entrepreneurs and the Gull Group of Companies, Western Australia’s largest independent petrol retailer.

The first year’s production of 30 million litres has already been forward-sold and there are already plans for a second facility to be developed on the existing site, which would increase output to 75 million litres a year, according to Eco Tech.

The product is currently retailing at selected Gull service stations in WA at 4c less than Gull’s petrodiesel product.

The Eco Tech facility is based on German technology used in six overseas plants.

The JV consortium also holds the marketing rights to the technology for all countries outside of the European Union and will be actively promoting the technology for use in Australia and the Asia-Pacific region.

Australian Biodiesel expects to produce 160 megalitres a year of biodiesel from tallow, used cooking and vegetable oils at its Narangba biorefinery.

The company, which listed in December, reported a $A680,000 loss last year but has forecast an $8.17 million net profit this year.

Australian Renewable Fuels also plans to open a biodiesel plant in Queensland, but its 45 megalitre facility will be located in the Port of Brisbane adjacent to existing cooking oil facilities owned by 50% JV partner Transpacific Industries, a waste management solutions company.

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