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Sweet deal for clean technology upgrades at Mackay Sugar

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THE HON GREG COMBET AM MP Minister for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency Minister for Industry and Innovation

KIRSTEN LIVERMORE MP Federal Member for Capricornia


GC 245/12 28 August 2012


Australia’s second largest sugar milling company, Mackay Sugar, will use a $9.1 million grant from the Gillard Government’s Clean Technology Food and Foundries Investment Program to support a $27 million project aimed at boosting the company’s overall efficiency.

Mackay Sugar will undertake a major upgrade of a boiler at its Marian Mill and construct bagasse handling facilities at its Racecourse Mill to improve the supply, transport and storage of surplus bagasse.

The funded project, together with Mackay Sugar’s broader $120 million cogeneration project, will see the construction of a high pressure and high efficiency boiler, and a steam turbine generator. This will produce enough renewable electricity for the national grid to meet one-third of Mackay City’s power needs.

The Minister for Industry and Innovation, Greg Combet, and the Federal Member for Capricornia, Kirsten Livermore, congratulated Mackay Sugar on receiving the grant and its commitment to improving competitiveness through investments in clean technology.

“Mackay Sugar will have significantly lower energy costs by reducing its black coal consumption. The company will also use its surplus bagasse to generate steam and electricity, which will further reduce its costs and even allow the company to earn money by selling renewable power to the grid,” Mr Combet said.

“This grant will help Mackay Sugar reduce the amount of carbon pollution generated for every unit of production by 16.5 per cent across three of its sites and make a significant saving every year on its energy bills.”

“The Clean Technology Investment Programs which are funded by carbon price revenue, are part of the Government’s plan for a Clean Energy Future. They deliver practical help for businesses to become more efficient, more competitive and more sustainable.”

“The project forms part of a broader energy reduction program being implemented by Mackay Sugar that will reduce its overall carbon pollution per unit of production by 71 per cent, and ensure a bright future for the local sugar industry,” said Ms Livermore.

“This is another example of the Gillard Government working to support investment in our local community as well as helping an iconic company transform its operations to remain competitive.

“Contrary to hysteria from the Liberal National Party it is clear the carbon price is a sensible reform and companies like Mackay Sugar are embracing clean energy to secure production and competiveness into the future,” said Mr Combet.

“I encourage all local manufactures, food processers and foundries to access the support the Government is offering under the $1 billion Clean Technology Investment Programs,” Ms Livermore said.

The $200 million Clean Technology Innovation Program is also open to provide opportunities for businesses to develop and commercialise innovative ways of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

For more information, companies should contact AusIndustry on 13 28 46 or visit

Mackay Sugar’s Clean Technology project description can be found here.

Media contact: Mark Davis; Gia Hayne (Mr Combet) 02 6277 7920 Kirsten Livermore’s Office 07 4922 6604