Pilot Plant expansion to grow Queensland’s biomanufacturing future

A Mackay pilot plant that converts biomass from a sugar mill into bioproducts will be expanded thanks to funding support from the Palaszczuk Government.

Based on the site of an operating sugar mill, the QUT Mackay Renewable Biocommodities Pilot Plant (MRBPP) is a research and development facility that converts biomass into biofuels, green chemicals and other bioproducts.

Deputy Premier and Minister for State Development Steven Miles said the Pilot Plant expansion will create regional jobs and build on Queensland’s growing biofutures industry.

“Queensland is in a position to become an Asia-Pacific hub in biomanufacturing and bio- refining,” Mr Miles said.

“Which is why we are investing in the Mackay Pilot Plant expansion through the Palszczuk Government’s $350 million Industry Partnership Program.

“The expansion of the common user research and development facility will enhance the development of regional biomanufacturing industries, attract further investment and create local jobs.”

Member for Mackay Julieanne Gilbert said the Government was bringing together traditional and new industries to build our biofutures sector.

“The Mackay region has been identified as a key location for biofutures industry, including the potential development of a Future Foods BioHub,” Ms Gilbert said.

“The region is known around the world for its sugar cane, and the expansion of this facility, located on a sugar mill site, will have a strong appeal to companies looking to use sugar feedstocks for their products.”

QUT’s Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Queensland’s Biofutures Industry Envoy, Professor Ian O’Hara said that the funding will be used to enhance the capability of the facility to be able to test a wider range of new and emerging technologies at scale.

“This expansion is critical to support companies seeking to supply new products for the future foods and other biomanufacturing industries, enabling them to rapidly demonstrate their technologies and products for market testing,” Professor O’Hara said.

“As a result, the facility will support the growth of a range of Australian companies and attract new investors into the Mackay region, creating new jobs and supporting a profitable future for the Australian Sugar industry.”

The Industry Partnership Program is part of the $5.84 billion Queensland Jobs Fund which
aims to boost the State’s industry footprint, create jobs and strengthen the economy.
For more information on the Industry Partnership Program visit here.