Ethanol plants lag the law

Read it in The Land

THE NSW Government this month re-affirmed its decision to mandate 10 per cent ethanol in all regular unleaded petrol sold in the State by 2011, but finding enough ethanol could be a stretch.

Proposals to build ethanol plants in NSW are at worst floundering or at best grinding their way slowly through the approval processes.

The exception is the Manildra Group which is in the process of ramping up ethanol production at its starch plant at Nowra.

According to Manildra chairman, Dick Honan, the expansion will lift annual production to 240 million litres a year, equivalent to about four per cent of the State’s petrol consumption.

“For 10 per cent ethanol there will have to be another player to do it,” he said.

But where the remaining six per cent for the target will come from is in the lap of the gods, and the crash in the world oil price in recent months is unlikely to spark latent ethanol projects into life.

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