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$7.35 million for ethanol plant in North Queensland.

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AFFA01/83WT 6 April 2001

$7.35 million for ethanol plant in north Queensland

The Federal Coalition Government’s commitment to ethanol as an alternative fuel has received another major boost. The Federal Government will provide $7.35 million for an ethanol project based at the Mossman Central Sugar Mill, the Federal Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Warren Truss, announced today.

Mr Truss joined with the Federal Member for Leichhardt, Warren Entsch, in Cairns to announce the project, which is expected to reduce greenhouse emissions by more than one million tonnes over five years.

The funding will assist the Douglas Shire Council and the Mossman Central Mill Company for their $34 million project that will assist in securing a sustainable future for the region.

"This project is a further demonstration of the Federal Coalition's commitment to the expansion of alternative fuels such as ethanol," Mr Truss said.

"The project includes the development of an ethanol production plant initially using by-products from the sugar mill, and stepping up the level of production using sweet sorghum in later years.

The ethanol will be used as a fuel for transport and will help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the transport sector.

"The project also includes processing waste from the sugar mill, and elsewhere, into liquid fertiliser, and the planting of 3,000 hectares of trees on marginal grazing land. As well as producing biodiversity benefits, the plantation will produce thinnings for use in the production of renewable energy and saw logs.

"This project will make a significant contribution to Australia's efforts to meet the challenge of global climate change. It is expected to achieve emissions abatement equivalent to that produced by 28,800 households each year.

It will also encourage the diversification of the agricultural industry in northern Queensland and establish links with the renewable energy sector."

Both the ethanol plant and sugar mill will be highly energy efficient as they will utilise electricity and steam produced by a renewable energy co-generation plant.

While not part of the Commonwealth funding, the co-generation plant will be powered by forest slash, municipal green wastes and wastes from both wood and sugar mills.

"The project will receive the major part of its funding from the Greenhouse Gas Abatement Program. Other successful GGAP proposals include a project to distribute ethanol-based fuels for the East-coast Queensland market and two separate projects that will use co-generation to significantly improve the efficiency of conventional

power generation.

"This program is demonstrating that greenhouse gas abatement can be achieved at a low cost while generating innovation, wealth and new jobs," Mr Truss said.

Minister's office: Yvonne Best (02) 6277 7520 or 0418 415 772

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Last updated 6 April 2001

URL: Commonwealth of Australia 2000