Mackay is set to get an arm of a brand new bio-refinery as the Queensland Government continues to splash its biofutures slush fund around to garner international investors.
The Biofutures fund has been able to lure American company Mercurius Biorefining and Brisbane’s Leaf Resources to move their plan ahead to build a pilot plant in Queensland.
The announcement in Montreal at a bio-technology conference yesterday revealed the companies would use plant waste to produce fuels, chemicals and plastics.
Speaking at the conference State Development Minister Anthony Lynham said the project would create at least 50 jobs.
“These two companies are the latest to join a multi-million dollar pipeline of investment in 21st century biofutures plants that could generate more than 330 jobs in regional Queensland,” he said.
The Brisbane-based company will scout for the location of the biorefinery site which will be close to an abundance of plant waste ranging from sugar cane fibre, sorghum stalks or hardwood offcuts.
Mercurius proposed to build a pilot plant in either Mackay or Gladstone and at least an element of the refining equipment in both cities.
Based on the performance of the pilot and demonstration projects, the company then plans to build advanced biorefinery projects across other regional Queensland areas.
“The $11 million Mercurius project, estimated to create 50 jobs, is an exciting one for Queensland and has the potential to deliver long-term high-value jobs and investment opportunities for many regions,” Dr Lynham said.
Dr Lynham said Mercurius also planned to manufacture sustainable jet fuel, with the US Navy identified as a potential customer.