FutureEnergy Australia receives AUD$2 million grant for renewable diesel project
Carnarvon Energy Ltd.’s renewable diesel business FutureEnergy Australia, a 50/50 joint venture arrangement with Frontier Impact Group, has been awarded a AUD$2 million (USD$1.5 million) Clean Energy Future Fund grant from the Western Australia state government.
The grant funding will go towards project development, preliminary site works, and engineering, procurement, construction, and commissioning (EPCC) activities for the first renewable diesel project in Narrogin scaled at nearly 5 million gallons per year.
Carnarvon announced March 10 that a 12-month exclusive option to purchase a 65-hectare site in the Shire of Narrogin was secured for the first project. Technical due diligence on the site is progressing, according to Carnarvon, and relevant regulatory approvals for the project are in preparation. In parallel, FutureEnergy Australia has begun consulting with stakeholders in Narrogin to build awareness of the project’s importance to the region.
The business model of FutureEnergy Australia is to convert sustainably sourced woody biomass such as ecological thinnings, oil mallees and plant-based agricultural residues into renewable diesel using high-temperature pyrolysis. The produced renewable diesel also has the potential to be further refined into sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).
The high-temperature pyrolysis process also produces biochar and wood vinegar. FutureEnergy Australia is investigating the opportunity to refine the biochar into graphene, which has a number of applications, including in the next generation of high-capacity, long-life, fast-charging batteries.
FutureEnergy Australia aims to develop multiple biorefinery projects across Western Australia, each producing commercial volumes of renewable diesel through net carbon-zero technology.
“The project receiving a Clean Energy Future Fund grant acknowledges the clear benefits renewable diesel can bring to reducing carbon emissions and creating a carbon-neutral alternative fuel in Western Australia,” said Adrian Cook, Carnarvon CEO and managing director. “Our project has the potential to transform the approach to fuel production. The additional products produced in the biorefining process, namely biochar and wood vinegar, are also expected to provide significant benefits across a number of industries. On behalf of Carnarvon and our joint-venture partner, Frontier Impact Group, I thank the Western Australia state government for its support with our first biorefinery project. We strongly believe that we have an incredible opportunity before us to create value for our shareholders and future business partners, generate important regional employment opportunities and make a significant carbon-emission reduction by providing a product that customers can readily use once we are in production.”