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Anderson announces funding for new ethanol technology.

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The Hon John Anderson MP Deputy Prime Minister Minister for Transport and Regional Services Leader of the National Party

15 September 2002 A119/2002


The Federal Government will provide the Sugar Research Institute with up to $400,000 to test a new process that could make the cost of producing ethanol competitive with petrol, the Deputy Prime Minister and Leader of the National Party, John Anderson, said today.

Mr Anderson announced the grant in his address to the National Party's Federal Council, which is meeting in Canberra this weekend.

"The Government is determined to develop a strong biofuel industry in Australia, because it is good for regional Australia and good for the environment. One of the obstacles to the wider use of ethanol is its cost of production, which is considerably higher than the cost of petrol.

"The Sugar Research Institute is evaluating a new American process, ZeaChem, which has the potential to produce 60-70 percent more ethanol from any given quantity of feedstock. It could reduce the cost of producing ethanol by up to 50 percent.

"The grant will enable the institute to conduct laboratory tests on the process, which could be completed within 6 to 12 months. The technology would then have to be tested in a pilot plant before it could be commercialised.

"My announcement today is part of the Government's broader plan to encourage the production and use of ethanol. It complements the 38.143 cents per litre subsidy we announced last week. The Government is still considering longer term arrangements for the future of the renewable energy industry.

"I want to pay tribute today to the hard work of the Member for Dawson, De-Anne Kelly, who has been a champion for this project. She has strongly represented her constituents by probing, challenging and initiating ideas," Mr Anderson said.

The Sugar Research Institute was founded in 1949, and is the major provider of research and development to the Australian raw sugar milling industry.

Media Contacts

Bill McKinley ( Minister Anderson's Office ) 02 6277 7680 / 0407 701 034