Australian Biodiesel Group Opens Australia’s Largest Biodiesel Plant; May Expand to North America
18 August 2006
|The Narangba facility.|
Australian Biodiesel Group (ABG) Limited announced the official opening of the nation’s largest biodiesel production facility at Narangba, outside Brisbane. The plant has an annual capacity of 160 million liters (42.3 million gallons US).
Queensland fuel distributors and retailers are contracted to purchase biodiesel from the facility. In addition, the company has off-take arrangements with trucking companies, mine operators and transport fleet operators within the region.
Domestic diesel consumption is set to grow at between two and four percent each year and Narangba will help meet that rising demand, while providing environmental and economic benefits to the Australian community.—Len Humphreys, ABG CEO
The Narangba plant uses tallow from Queensland’s meat processing industry as its primary feedstock. The facility may also process used cooking oil and a variety of vegetable oils. ABG is completing an acquisition of Australian vegetable oil crushing facility and acquiring feedstock rights to an established oil tree plantation that will focus on non-edible species such as jatropha and pongamia.
At full production, the Narangba plant could supply enough fuel to meet the annual consumption of around 150,000 modern diesel cars the size of a Holden Astra or VW Golf. The consumption of the plant’s full production capacity would also save around 150,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions every year.
ABG recently announced a joint venture agreement that may lead to the co-funding, construction and operation of three biodiesel production facilities (two US, one Canadian) in North America. Each plant is expected to be the same production capacity as Narangba and based on the same ABG’s own fuel production technology as utilized in the Queensland plant.
Under the terms of the 50:50 joint venture, ABG USA will assess, and if approved, develop two US and one Canadian biodiesel manufacturing facilities. Each of the proposed facilities will utilize ABG’s Modular Continuous Transesterification Process (MCTP) technology as deployed at the Narangba facility.
ABG has been producing biodiesel utilizing MCTP since 2002. A key feature of MCTP is its very compact footprint—the core process modules of the Narangba facility occupy a space of just 150 square metres. ABG believes its technology advantage make the company among the lowest cost commercial producers.
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