The U.S. Navy has entered into a partnership with Queensland and Palaszczuk Government to develop a biofuel R&D center. The facility will become the biofuel hub of the Asia-Pacific region. 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 Great Green Fleet initiative, a program to source 50 percent of fuel from renewable sources by 2020.
“This is a huge vote of confidence in our developing biofuels industry and puts Queensland in the box seat to supply the Pacific fleet,” said Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk. “The partnership we have signed with the US Navy underlines the huge potential to build a new industry that will make Queensland the biofuel hub of the Asia Pacific. I have long been talking about the need to diversify our economy, create new industries, and lock in the next wave of long-term, export-orientated job opportunities. The signing of this partnership between Queensland and the US Department of the Navy is a giant stride towards reaching those goals.”
The initiative was first discussed between Ms. Palaszczuk and Hicks during a meeting at the U.S. Pentagon in June 2015. To date the Palaszczuk Government has dedicated almost $20 million in four funds to stimulate key areas of the state’s industrial biotechnology and bioproducts sector and launched a 10-year Roadmap to develop the industry.
“Since then, there have been significant advances in the development of an industry that I believe will be a huge player in our economic future,” she explained. “We have also been able to lure Southern Oil Refining from NSW and the $16 million pilot plant they are building at Yarwun has a key role to play in this emerging giant of an industry.”
The agreement, signed at a Parliament House ceremony, outlines the parties’ commitment to explore the research, development, supply and sale of advanced “drop-in” alternative fuels.