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Media Release
Australian Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Senator the Hon. Ian Campbell

26 July 2006

New Picton biodiesel plant WA's biggest

A new biodiesel plant in Picton in Western Australia’s south west will create up to 60 direct and indirect jobs and consume $20 million a year of locally produced canola, tallow and used oil.

Officially opened today by Australian Environment and Heritage Minister Senator Ian Campbell, the Australian Renewable Fuels Limited biodiesel plant is the biggest in Western Australia.

Biodiesel is a renewable transport fuel derived from various feedstock including vegetable oils and animal fats. It can be used as a direct replacement for conventional diesel or as a blend component and can provide some health and greenhouse benefits.

Senator Campbell said the Australian Government was a strong supporter of the biodiesel industry, which was growing and on track to meet its share of the biofuels production target of 350 million litres by 2010.

“As well as tax concessions, the Government has committed $37 million under the Biofuels Capital Grants Programme for ethanol and biodiesel production facilities,” Senator Campbell said.

“Australian Renewable Fuels received $7.1 million under this programme to build a biodiesel plant at Largs Bay in South Australia – funding support which has helped it establish this plant.”

Senator Campbell said the local facility had an annual production capacity of about 45 million litres of biodiesel.

“The Picton and Largs Bay plants use the latest European technology, the ‘Energea’ process currently operating in Austria, which means they are capable of producing high quality biodiesel. The two plants will have production capacity of 90 million litres a year,” he said.

Senator Campbell also announced the foundation of an Australian Biofuels Institute to develop the underpinning technologies and knowledge to ensure a profitable and sustainable biofuels industry.

The concept was developed by the South Australian Research and Development Institute in consultation with ARF Chief Executive Officer Darryl Butcher. Founding members include the Queensland Institute of Technology.

“ARF is confident that with the right investment, this programme has the potential to make Australia a world leader in biofuels research. It is an exciting concept and I congratulate Mr Butcher and the founding partners for taking the initiative.”

Senator Campbell said he was pleased to see industry responding to the Government’s support for biofuels.

“It is also important that the industry proves it is not reliant on permanent subsidies and can ultimately establish itself as an independent, viable industry,” he said.

“The biofuels institute is one way of working to ensure this occurs.”

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