The Department of Energy and Water Supply (DEWS) has issued a Discussion Paper on plans for more biofuel production in Queensland.

Minister for Energy, Mark Bailey said a biofuel mandate is due to take effect in Queensland from 1 July 2016 and new laws will prescribe a phase-in of ethanol-blended fuel.

Mr Bailey said that under the plan, the proposed mandate would be set at 2 per cent of the total volume of regular unleaded petrol and E10 fuel sold in Queensland.

Plan to expand renewable industry

He said local industries should capture market share to ensure that ethanol sold in Queensland came from Queensland.

“There’s also an opportunity to boost the use of biofuels like biodiesel blends to take advantage of the growing demand for diesel,” Mr Bailey said.

He said there were several bio-plants on the drawing board in Queensland, including two in development and strong interest from the private sector to explore opportunities.

A joint study by Deloitte Access Economics and the Queensland University of Technology predicted that bio-refining in all its forms could contribute more than $1.8 billion in gross State product to Queensland and create up to 6,640 jobs in the next 20 years.

The Minister said regional forums would be held to encourage industry, key stakeholders and the community to have their say about ethanol.

“Our consultation will explore consumer protections and consumer education about the benefits of E10,” he said.

“Regular unleaded petrol will still be available at petrol stations in Queensland. This means, if drivers don’t want to use ethanol fuels, they won’t have to.”

Mr Bailey said the Liquid Fuel Supply (Biofuel Mandate) Amendment Bill is due to be introduced into Parliament this year to set the framework.

“Early feedback from the RACQ, the Canegrowers and the Australian Sugar Milling Association has been encouraging,” he said.

The deadline for submissions is 3 July and the Discussion Paper can be accessed at this PS News link.

Extracted in full from PS News.