Queensland is a leader in the biofuels industry

Posted by Design & Construct on 04-May-2016 00:17:33

In Construction, Engineering

New jobs and economic boost

Great news for the economy of Queensland as the Government recently announced the commencement of a $16 million, Advanced Biofuels Pilot Plant, to be built in Gladstone. Work is due to start in April 2016 and the pilot plant is planned to commence operation by the end of the year. The building of this pilot plant with Southern Oil Refining in Queensland has the potential to be the catalyst for launching Queensland's bio future.

About Southern Oil

Southern Oil Refining is a privately Australian owned company, based in Wagga Wagga, NSW, which has been re-refining waste oil since 2001.

Southern Oil re-refines waste lube oil for reuse as lube oil.  The re-refining process is a “cradle to cradle” treatment of oil and the highest form of recycling by keeping lube oil in productive use. The process recovers 99% of the lube oil component of the waste oil, creating a near perpetual cycle of use and re-use of a diminishing resource.

The product has a smaller carbon footprint than crude oil, produces no waste and reduces the need for oil. Southern Oil has the capacity to re-refine 38% of Australia's annual waste lube oil production, through its in NSW and Northern Oil Refinery near Gladstone in central Queensland.

In the next three years the pilot plant aims to have produced one million litres of fuel for use in field trials by the United States Navy, as part of its Great Green Fleet initiative, and by the Australian Navy.


Leaders in aviation Air New Zealand and Virgin Australia Airlines


Leaders in aviation

A recently announced partnership by two major players in commercial aviation, Air New Zealand and Virgin Australia Airlines, will also investigate the possibility of using biofuel. The two companies intend to use their purchasing power in order to reduce their reliance on a single fuel and are seeking a locally-produced aviation biofuel solution across Australia and New Zealand.

Should the Gladstone pilot prove successful, it will be expanded to a large commercial-scale advanced biofuels production facility. The refinery will cost $150 million to construct and have the capability to produce 200 million litres of advanced biofuel per year; which will be suitable for military, marine and aviation use.

New jobs in construction

The pilot plant will create 30 new construction jobs and 18 jobs when it moves into operational phase. If the full-scale commercial plant proceeds, 90 construction jobs and 64 operational jobs will be created. Additionally, the refineries would help generate an economic boost to manufacturing, which will help stimulate growth in rural communities.

The new Advanced Biofuels Pilot Plant is the only waste lube oil re-refining facility in Queensland and has the potential to process all of the State's waste lube oil. The plant will use biomass material such as sugarcane bagasse and possibly prickly acacia as feedstock for the production of bio-crude oil, which will then be distilled into saleable kerosene and diesel products.

Southern Oil Refining Managing Director Tim Rose was delighted to announce his company's decision to locate the biofuel pilot plant in Gladstone and said, “This demonstration plant will be a big step towards creating a clean transportation future.”

2016 has been a year where companies have embraced green culture, a trend which is now set to continue into the future. The environment is a key issue and Australia's employers are now looking for candidates who have experience of working within the renewable energy industry. If you work within the green industry and are looking for the next big project or opportunity, please contact one of our consultants to discuss your sustainability career today.

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The Guardian. (2016). Retrieved 30 April, 2016 from
Southern Oil. (2016). Retrieved 30 April, 2016 from http://www.sor.com.au/
© The State of Queensland. (2016). Retrieved 30 April, 2016 from