Biofuels provide new market for WA farmers

WESTERN Australia has a unique opportunity to emerge as a biofuels leader over the next decade, according to Nationals WA leader Brendon Grylls. Mr Grylls said a call by BP’s London-based chief scientist Dr Steven Koonin to “get serious” about alternative fuels was a signal for the state government to become far more aggressive about facilitating large-scale biofuels production in WA. “Dr Koonin has written in the journal Science that biofuels could supply 30 per cent of global demand and called on governments, universities and industry worldwide to develop advanced biofuels from dedicated energy crops,” Mr Grylls said. “Western Australian farmers produce up to 50 per cent, or 13 million tonnes, of Australia’s annual grain crop, which could be value-added into five billion litres of ethanol annually for the local and export industry, and at the same time create a new, secure home market.” He said the federal government had set a nominal target of only 350 million litres of biofuels per year by 2010, or less than 2 per cent of the nation’s road fuel. In the eastern states, BP has already sold 15 million litres of the E10 ethanol blend petrol without a single technical issue, which is evidence that it is a viable alternative to current fossil fuels powering Australian motor vehicles.

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