Australian Ethanol moving forward on two fronts

AUSTRALIAN biofuels player Australian Ethanol's report for the quarter ended June 30, 2006, says the company's United States biodiesel interests and its domestic ethanol business are progressing on track – with key supply, offtake, management and technology agreements in place, and up to six Australian sites being considered for further plants.
Australian Ethanol moving forward on two fronts Australian Ethanol moving forward on two fronts Australian Ethanol moving forward on two fronts Australian Ethanol moving forward on two fronts Australian Ethanol moving forward on two fronts

Highlights for the quarter included the successful $A12.45 million capital raising through placements with professional and institutional investors.

AAE said that increased institutional investor support indicated strong support for the company’s business plan, which is currently focused on gaining greater access to the established US biofuels market and gaining operating experience that will give the company a strategic advantage within the domestic market.

The company has chosen two proven technologies for its biodiesel and ethanol interests during the quarter:

  • The design process package for the US Beatrice Biodiesel Project in Nebraska is almost completed, using process technology provided by Axens (used in proven facilities around the world), with the balance of plant engineering provided by Schneider Engineering.
  • The design of the Swan Hill Ethanol Project in Victoria has also been significantly progressed, with a basic engineering package prepared by leading process technology and services provider Praj Industries, based in one of India’s burgeoning technological hubs, Pune. The environmental management plan for the site has been submitted to the local council for approval, and work has begun on a detailed engineering package.
  • AAE had originally planned to begin site works for the Swan Hill plant in June 2006, but has delayed the project pending applications for infrastructure support from all levels of government.

    The company said it had been advised that any work started at the site could jeopardise the applications process, so it terminated its agreement with Multiplex for construction rights at the site. Multiplex agreed to a non-cash settlement in the form of 800,000 ordinary shares in AAE.

    AAE has not yet secured offtake agreements for the proposed Swan Hill project, but said it was encouraged that its negotiations with fuel retailers showed a growing trend for long-term agreements, indicating continuing support for the industry.

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