Alternative Fuels Australia

New ethanol plants to open soon

Posted by Car Geek on September 27, 2007

Sweet sorghum plant. Image from, licensed under Creative Commons 2.0.Australia looks set to have at least two new ethanol production plants opening over the next couple of years from different companies, both producing their fuel from south-east Queensland’s sweet sorghum crops.

The first, the $120 million Dalby Bio Refinery in Queensland, is expected to open in August 2008 and will be capable of producing over 90 million litres of ethanol each year. (For comparison’s sake, this refinery alone will be capable of producing 25% of the fuel required to meet Australia’s goal of 350 ML of biofuels annually by 2010.) The company has secured a contract with Caltex for “a significant portion” of its annual production, according to reports out of the Australian Ethanol and Biodiesel conference in Brisbane this week. The plant will produce ethanol from grain supplied by Graincorp.

Biofuels company AgriFuels is also planning a new ethanol production facility for south-east Queensland, this time near the town of Childers. The company is currently conducting trials of the sweet sorghum crop, and if successful, plans to rotate it with sugar cane. AgriFuels managing director Greg Lee says that sorghum can provide up to 30 per cent more ethanol than the equivalent amount of sugar cane, providing farmers with an extra source of income.

“Basically once we’ve proved this crop up and it looks okay we’ll then sit down and talk to farmers, work out how it can rotate with the sugarcane people, utilise … some of the land that’s not being used and start to develop hopefully an ethanol plant,” he said.

The plant has the support of local councils and is considered likely to go ahead.

(Sources: North Queensland Register, ABC News)


10 Responses to “New ethanol plants to open soon”

  1. Dear Folks,
    I am interested in Sweet Sorghum since returning from a conference of our overseas aid group where a colleague has told me great stories of his sucess with this crop in the Philippines.
    Is it possible to buy a few kilos of seed in Australia?
    I would like to experiment with it with a view to its use in Cambodia.
    Thank you
    Malcolm Hughes
    29 Salamander grove
    BNaulkham Hills 2153

  2. By the way, I will be working in Redcliffe Hospital in December, so I would like to catch up with you.
    Malcolm Hughes

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    Sweet sorghum cultivation yields more ethanol than sugarcane per ha consuming half the water making it suitable for dryer areas of west Queensland,Western Australia,Northern Territory and even South Australia with the potential to produce enough ethanol to sustitute Australia’s gas needs and even export to eager markets like Japan,South Korea ,China,India and Singapur ,creating a whole new industry with lots of jobs

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