Australia’s First Biodiesel Plant Open

Australian motorists may soon have the option of filling up with a locally-produced diesel alternative following this month’s opening of the nation’s first purpose-built biodiesel production facility in the Hunter Valley.

New South Wales, Australia – March 20, 2003 [] Australian Federal Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane, who opened the facility at Rutherford in New South Wales, congratulated the local business consortium behind the futuristic fuel project. “Biodiesel Industries Australia are setting the pace for an infant, but exciting, green fuel industry,” Macfarlane said. “Today’s opening is a substantial step towards the development of a commercially viable renewable fuel sector in this country.” At full production, the multi-million dollar facility will produce up to 40 million liters of standard biodiesel a year. The domestically produced option will help curb Australia’s growing reliance on imported fuel products. “This facility brings with it substantial opportunity for the Hunter region as well as contribute to the national development of greener fuel alternatives,” said Macfarlane. “It will create employment opportunities, an income stream that isn’t hitched to fluctuating world commodity prices and encourage more efficient use of the area’s agricultural outputs.” The fuel can be derived from vegetable, animal or recycled cooking oils which are mixed with an additive like methanol. Biodiesel fuel is considered more climate friendly than petroleum diesel as it emits less greenhouse gas, is biodegradable, non-toxic and sulfur free. “We have to be realistic about our petroleum future and recognize that options like biodiesel have to be explored – once their environmental and safety credentials have been fully established,” Macfarlane added. “This is a product that can be safely substituted for the diesel product with essentially no engine modifications, making it an attractive future alternative for Australian motorists.”
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