An algae biofuel demonstration plant will be built by Muradel Pty Ltd, a joint venture by Murdoch University, Adelaide Research and Innovation and commercial partner SQC Pty Ltd, after the Federal Government announced $4.4 million of funding.
The $10.7 million plant will be built in the industrial city of Whyalla in South Australia and will test the commercial viability of providing fuels for the aviation sector and diesel users.
If the project proves the technology’s commercial viability, Muradel will be in a position to build Australia’s first commercial algae-to-biofuels plant that will offer regional employment opportunities and increase Australia’s fuel security.
Muradel, which was established in 2010, already has a two acre pilot plant in Karratha, WA.
The Federal Government funding comes through its Australian Renewable Energy Agency’s (ARENA) Advanced Biofuels Investment Readiness Program.
In announcing the funding, the Minister for Resources and Energy, the Hon. Martin Ferguson AM MP said: “Australia has a chance to capitalise on a number of competitive advantages, such as our abundant sunshine and climate, to build an advanced biofuels industry that will help diversify our liquid fuel resources and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”
The minister added that ARENA was making its investment after seeing Muradel prove the potential of its advanced biofuel technology.
The project is expected to be completed by the end of 2014.