Northern Oil biofuels plant gets green light

The Managing Director of Southern Oil Tim Rose (right) at the launch of its hydrotreater plant in 2015
The Queensland Government has approved a new plant that will turn waste into renewable oil for biofuels.

The Department of Environment and Heritage Protection granted an Environmental Authority for Northern Oil Refinery’s new biofuels facility at Yarwun, near Gladstone, on 15 August.

The same company won the Innovation in Sustainable Technologies Award at the 2015 Queensland Premier’s Sustainability Awards.

The authority will allow Northern Oil to receive and process a broader range of waste materials and convert them into renewable oil, which can then be treated to become suitable for a range of uses.

The $16 million biofuels pilot plant is scheduled to open later this year and is the next step towards a $150 million, commercial-scale biofuel plant.

Announcing the licence, Environment Minister Dr Steven Miles said biofuels looks set to change the game for the environment, for transport fuels and for regional Queensland economies.

“This is the first facility in Queensland to recycle waste lubricating oil for re-use. It will create a whole new market for waste, creating ‘green’ fuels while keeping it out of landfill,” Dr Miles said.

“The company is now ready to expand its operations to include wastes such as bagasse from sugar cane milling, green waste from regional cities, woody weeds like prickly acacia and tyres from the mining sector, heavy transport and passenger vehicles,” he added.

Northern Oil is part of Southern Oil’s group of businesses.

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