Biofutures grant could put Maryborough on map
A $250,000 State Government grant to MSF Sugar could see Maryborough in the centre of a major boost to the emerging biofutures industry in Queensland.
North Queensland-based company MP Holdings, trading as MSF Sugar, has received the funding to demonstrate bioethanol production from agave at a pilot scale, using agave from Arriga and Maryborough..
The project will establish the feasibility of a sugarcane and agave bioindustrial project at the Tableland Sugar Mill using agave already being grown between the two cities.
It is one of six projects tipped to put Queensland at the forefront of a potential bioindustrial revolution.
Maryborough MP Bruce Saunders said it would put the heritage city on the map and help create local jobs.
"I believe biofutures is going to be the future of Maryborough; it's going to put the town on the map," Mr Saunders said.
"We can grow the product here and ship it up north. It gives the community an insight into biofuels and what they can do on a local and national scale.
"It will turn our economy around."
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, who attended the international BIO 2017 conference in San Diego, said it could lead to seasonal jobs becoming year-long ones.
"Importantly, this will use marginal cane land and aim to give sugarcane factories the opportunity to have year-round production, producing bioethanol in the sugarcane off-season," Ms Palaszczuk said.
The project was funded out of the Advance Queensland $5 million Biofutures Commercialisation Program.
Minister for innovation, science and digital economy Leeanne Enoch said the government's BCP program was laying the foundation for the capability and scale of the state' biofutures industry.
"The project will look at field-scale agave cultivation on non-irrigated lands in the Atherton Tablelands."
The Advance Queensland Biofutures Commercialisation Program aims to attract national or international bioindustrial expertise to test state bioindustrial technologies.