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New lobby group emerges at Brisbane conference: ethanol needs to get much cheaper than petrol, says Biofuels Association of Australia

Posted by gmarkets on 2 October, 2007

A new lobby group emerged at the Australian Ethanol and Biodiesel Conference in Brisbane, wrote Graham Fuller in Queensland Country Life (27/9/2007, p.13).

Speaking with one voice: Renewable Fuels Australia executive director Bob Gordon noted how the US, Europe and the rest of the world were ramping-up policies to head off their dependence on crude oil and petroleum products. As a result, Renewable Fuels Australia was in transition to a national organisation for biofuels that was to be called the Biofuels Association of Australia Inc. “The important thing is that our industry is taking steps to become more professional with the way it deals with policy development, the way it deals with government, and the way it deals with feedstock producers,” Gordon said. “So we hope we will start to see the advantages of an industry speaking with one single voice in this country,” he said.

Practical moves: Specific committees for both ethanol and biodiesel would be encompassed within the new set-up. Practical moves like this would be of interest to producers like Peter Melville, Bundaberg, who said he had been collecting information on biofuels by attending the past six conferences. After turning away from tomato production to concentrate on growing cane and almost certainly sunflowers, Melville said his primary concern would centre on being able to produce quality biodiesel.

Challenges for industry: The conference was updated on the burgeoning numbers of US ethanol plants, with 125 currently in operation and another 80 or so in the process of being built. The point being made by futurist Paul Higgins was that two key challenges remained if the biofuels industry ever wanted to become a mainline competitor for transport fuels. “Ethanol needs to get much cheaper than petrol, either by reducing production costs or fossil fuel prices go up significantly,” he said. To see Renewable Fuels Australia executive director Bob Gordon talking at the Brisbane ethanol and biodiesel conference, visit the audio and video page at

Queensland Country Life, 27/9/2007, p. 13

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