The future is electric for Bundaberg agricultural waste
14th November, 2019
A $1.9 million agricultural waste to bioenergy project that will power electric vehicles within the Bundaberg Regional Council area is one of the first recipients of a grant from the Queensland Government’s Waste to Biofutures Fund (W2B Fund).
Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning Cameron Dick said biogas company Energy 360 Pty Ltd had been awarded $363,000 to transform agricultural waste into bioenergy at a $1.899 million small-scale biotechnology facility to be developed in Bundaberg.
“This project delivers on our biofutures vision to have a sustainable industrial biotechnology sector that creates highly skilled jobs, supports Queensland’s Electric Vehicle Strategy to prepare and help pave the wave for greater uptake of EVs and aligns with our Government’s plan for a more sustainable, low carbon economy.
“The anaerobic digestion to bioenergy plant will contribute to Queensland’s shift toward a circular economy by demonstrating that farm waste is a resource, generating on-demand renewable power and producing a fertiliser that can be returned to the farms to grow the next crop.
“Once developed, the new Bundaberg facility will have the capacity to convert up to 4,000 tonnes of waste each year into around 830 megawatt hours of power to charge electric vehicles.
“Development of the waste-to-bioenergy demonstration plant is expected to start early in 2021, creating eight new regional jobs involved with its construction as well as one ongoing operational role.”
Energy 360 Chief Executive Officer Samantha Lamond said the company was delighted to be successful in securing a W2B grant.
“The fund is a visionary initiative from the Queensland Government which will allow us to introduce commercial-scale bioenergy technology that can create value from horticultural waste using the process of anaerobic digestion.
“The waste will come from local agriculture and food processors and feed an anaerobic digestor which will break down the organic matter to produce biogas and 3,600 tonnes of fertiliser each year.
“The outputs will power the EV charging station and support opportunities for jobs, skills and training in bioenergy and resource recovery.”
Bundaberg Region Mayor Jack Dempsey welcomed the announcement which he hoped would prove to be a catalyst for more biofutures projects in the region.
“This is an exciting project which could pave the way for the Bundaberg Region to capitalise on this growing industry,” Mayor Dempsey said.
“Council has a vision to become a leading Australian bioenergy hub – with the potential to purchase a number of electrical waste recovery trucks helping to deliver this vision through clean energy powering our rubbish collection.
“This project dovetails perfectly with that goal.”
In the context of the W2B Fund:
- Bioenergy – means energy generated from the conversion of Biomass.
- Biofuels – means fuels that are essentially substitutes, composites or complementary to fossil-based fuel products. These include, but are not limited to biofuels (e.g. ethanol, biodiesel), advanced biofuels, renewable diesel and fuels such as biosynthetic gas (syngas), biojet fuel and other fuels derived from biochemical, thermochemical or similar conversion processes, refuse-derived fuel or biocrudes processed from waste materials.
- Bioproducts – means products that are substitutes or complementary to products made from petroleum. Bioproducts include but are not limited to, biochemicals, bioplastics and other high-value bioproducts. They include biomaterials or products manufactured from Biomass or conventional waste streams.
Bioenergy, biofuels and bioproducts are collectively referred to as bio-based products.