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Shire receives development application for Australia-first commercial scale biodiesel facility near Narrogin

Headshot of Kasey Gratton
Kasey GrattonNarrogin Observer
Dale Stewart. Daryna Zadvirna
Camera IconDale Stewart. Daryna Zadvirna Credit: Daryna Zadvirna/RegionalHUB

Plans for a new biodiesel facility near Narrogin continue to develop, with the Shire of Narrogin receiving a $200 million development application for the establishment of a renewable diesel biorefinery.

A development application was received from Future Energy Australia, which plans to establish a Renewable Diesel Biorefinery at the Narrogin Future Energy Park, 4km south of the town centre.

Future Energy Australia is a joint venture between Carnarvon Energy Limited and Frontier Impact Group.

Narrogin would be home to the first renewable diesel production facility in Australia on a commercial scale, with an initial yearly production capacity of 18 million litres.

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The diesel is billed by Future Energy Australia as a sustainable, low-carbon replacement for conventional petroleum-based diesel.

The biorefinery would convert biomass, such as construction waste, ecological thinnings, and plant-based agricultural waste, into renewable diesel through high-temperature pyrolysis.

This causes the thermochemical decomposition of organic materials at high temperatures, in an environment where no oxygen is present.

The biomass is planned to be sustainably sourced from within 150km of the facility.

The renewable diesel produced will have the potential to be further refined into aviation fuel, wood vinegar and bio-char which can be used as a soil conditioner.

The company’s application will first be processed by the Shire’s planning officers before it is referred to the State’s Joint Development Assessment Panel, which includes the involvement of the Shire of Narrogin president Leigh Ballard and deputy president Graham Broad.

The panel will then recommend the application to the Minister for Planning, Rita Saffioti, for approval or rejection.

Shire of Narrogin chief executive Dale Stewart said the project was a “first for Australia”.

“...It will create 35 new direct jobs in addition to the employment that will be required during construction,” Mr Stewart said.

“This is an incredibly exciting project, and a development of this size will be a great economic boost for Narrogin and districts and lead to the potential for other allied support services and industries at the Future Energy Park.”

Future Energy Australia received a $2m grant through round two of the State Government’s Clean Energy Future Fund in April.

A public comment opportunity and further details of the project will be advertised to residents in the coming weeks.

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