QUEENSLAND could become a petrol station stop off for the US Navy under plans being hatched to position the state as a biofuel hub for the Asia-Pacific.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and United States Deputy Under Secretary of the Navy for Management Thomas Hicks signed a Statement of Cooperation as part of the US Navy’s commitment to source half of its fuel form renewable sources by 2020.

“We know that Queensland has the energy, we have the capacity to create a new biofuels industry in this state,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

“We want to do everything we can to make this a reality,” she said.

The Premier said anyone who doubted the possibility should recall how Queensland was able to create a brand new LNG industry in the state now worth billions of dollars to the economy.

Ms Palaszczuk said opportunities could exist right up the coast including at Gladstone, Mackay, Bundaberg, Townsville and Cairns.

She noted that Southern Oil Refining was building a $16 million pilot plan at Yarwun, west of Gladstone.

Mr Hicks said the US Navy bought 30 million barrels of fuel a year at a cost of more than $3 billion.

Half is purchased from the US and half is purchased internationally, representing a huge market for Queensland.

“Based on what we see in Queensland … there’s opportunity there to produce the fuels in the quantity that are meaningful to the US Department of Navy,” Mr Hicks said.

The US Navy will be meeting with the Queensland University of Technology and University of Queensland while in Australia on the development of fuels.

The agreement, signed at Parliament House, signals a commitment to research, develop, supply and sell advanced “drop-in” alternative fuels.

Extracted in full from the Daily Telegraph.