A consortium formed between the Victorian State Government and a group of companies—including GM Holden; Caltex; Veolia; Mitsui; and Coskata—will investigate the viability of establishing Australia’s first ethanol plant capable of turning materials such as household rubbish and building waste into more than 200 million liters (53 million gallons US) of ethanol a year. This ethanol will be used to formulate an E85 blend (85% ethanol, 15% gasoline).
The plant would produce ethanol using a process developed by Coskata Inc, a syngas to ethanol company, which officially launched its semi-commercial “Flexethanol” facility located in Madison, PA last year. (Earlier post.)
Holden Energy and Environment Director Richard Marshall said Holden would introduce Australia’s first locally produced flex-fuel vehicles capable of running on the high-ethanol fuel later this year.
To ensure availability of the fuel for Holden’s vehicles, Caltex Australia’s General Manager Marketing Andy Walz said the company had signed an agreement with Holden which committed to installing pumps in 30 metropolitan and regional service stations later this year, increasing to 100 within 12 months.