Biofuel airplane

The Queensland Government has announced plans for a biorefinery that could produce sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) to power flights across Australia, alongside a $760,000 funding contribution. 

The funding will be used to complete existing feasibility work and finalise the review of a site in Queensland for the facility.

Produced on home soil, the low carbon jet fuel could be used in existing aircraft engines and airport refuelling infrastructure to cut carbon emissions by more than 80 per cent and support airlines in achieving net zero emissions by 2050.

Jet Zero Australia has started a feasibility study for the facility, which could produce more than 100 million litres of SAF a year for use in domestic flights, including by the Qantas Group.

The project, which is the first investment under the Qantas and Airbus sustainable fuel partnership, will potentially create about 100 full time jobs and employ more than 1,000 workers during construction.

Queensland Premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk, said the announcement was another step towards the State becoming “the sustainable aviation fuel powerhouse of Australia”.

“Queensland is perfectly positioned to be a clean energy superpower because we have both the sunshine and feedstocks including the largest sugar industry in the nation,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

“That means Queensland can make the sustainable aviation fuel needed to provide fuel security for the nation and our trade partners to make air travel sustainable providing a long-term future for our tourism industry.”

An Australian SAF industry is expected to be worth $3 billion annually and could create up to 15,600 jobs nationwide by 2050.

Construction on the project could start as early as 2024.

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