Queensland biofuel projects jet into winner’s circle at national awards

Two Australian-first Queensland renewable fuel projects led by Virgin Australia Group and Southern Oil Refinery have been recognised at the national Bioenergy Innovation Awards in Brisbane this evening.

Minister for State Development Cameron Dick congratulated both companies for their achievements during the event at the State Library of Queensland, saying Queensland has the potential to be the biofuel hub of the Asia-Pacific.

“It’s great to see both Virgin Australia Group and Southern Oil Refinery recognised for their large-scale, biofuel projects,” Mr Dick said.

“This is the sort of bio innovation that’s helping Queensland to become a world leader when it comes to renewable fuels, and it will lead to greater investment locally and more new jobs in the years ahead.”

At the awards Virgin Australia Group won the large-scale Bioenergy Innovation category for their Brisbane-based project trialling biojet fuel made from sugars.

Partners in the project included the Queensland Government, US-based biofuel producer Gevo, Brisbane Airport Corporation, DB Schenker and Caltex.

“Virgin Australia flights flew more than one million kilometres using this sustainable aviation fuel, which was imported, blended and certified as Jet A-1 fuel,” Mr Dick said.

“This initiative enabled Brisbane Airport to become one of only a few global airports capable of deploying sustainable aviation fuel, and significantly strengthened the bio credentials of our state.”

Southern Oil Refinery, meanwhile, was awarded a commendation in the same award category for their renewable diesel fuel trial, which the Queensland Government also partnered in.

The trial was operated by wholly-owned subsidiary SynBio at Southern Oil’s $25 million Gladstone biofuels pilot plant.

“Southern Oil’s trial showed renewable diesel can be successfully made from waste materials such as discarded plastic, old vehicle tyres, agriculture and forestry waste,” Mr Dick said.

“Around one-million litres of renewable diesel is being trialled in Gladstone, fuel which could eventually be used to power fire trucks, prime movers, cane trains and more.”

Bioenergy Australia CEO Shahana McKenzie congratulated all award winners and said the event provided recognition of the success being achieved in biofuel innovation.

Ms McKenzie said the second annual awards program were hosted by Bioenergy Australia to recognise and promote Australian bioenergy industry projects, achievements and work, both domestically and abroad.

The Bioenergy Innovation Awards were held during Queensland’s first Bio Innovation Week (11-15 November), which is promoting new opportunities for economic growth and the creation of high-value, knowledge-intensive regional jobs.

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