The Asia Miner

JAN-MAR 2019

The ASIA Miner - Reporting Important Issues to Mining Companies in the Asia Pacific Region

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Page 31 of 51

the asia miner • volume 16 • issue 1 30 WASTE TO ENERGY Bioenergy Australia has warned that Australia's low emergency fuel reserves leave the naঞon "vulnerable", creaঞng a criঞcal naঞonal security issue. According to Bioenergy Australia, the country is languishing behind other naঞons in fuel independence and security and has been named as the least prepared developed naঞon to deal with a crisis. Latest figures produced by the Australian Department of Environment and Energy show stockpiles at the end of October 2018 were 27 days total petroleum products, 22 days of petrol and 17 days of diesel. The risks associated with transportaঞon fuel security were first rung by Air Vice-Marshal John Blackburn AO (Ret'd) in his reports for the NRMA in 2013 and 2014. A Senate Inquiry in 2015 showed Australia was desperately short of its 90-day emergency fuel reserve supplies, required as a member of the Internaঞonal Energy Associaঞon (IEA). With the decline in domesঞc refining in Australia, and the closure of three refineries in the last decade, Australia is le[ with four operaঞonal refineries, with majority of the fuel being imported. If disrupঞons to the main shipping line took place, Bioenergy Australia argues that the naঞon could be exposed to catastrophic challenges. Shahana Mckenzie, CEO of Bioenergy Australia, sees this as an issue of naঞonal security, with biofuels a "must consideraঞon" as part of the soluঞon to the possible crisis. "The producঞon of biofuels in Australia can help diversify the sources of transportaঞon fuels and decrease Australia's reliance on petroleum imports," says Ms McKenzie. "A recent report from the Queensland University of Technology showed that a simple e10 naঞonal mandate would represent an 18 per cent decrease on imported fuels," she added. Biofuels are created from waste organic maer and can be blended with petroleum, diesel and jet fuel with significant posiঞve impacts on the environment, reduced health impacts through reducing air parঞculate maer, increased jobs through regional development and enhanced fuel security through reduced reliance on imported fuels. Technology developments are now allowing drop in 100 per cent replaceable fuels to be created, from feed stocks such as municipal waste and sewerage waste to fuel. "Biofuels are not just relevant for land transport," says Ms McKenzie. "Biojet is a significant area of growth globally. As an example, the demand for jet fuel is increasing annually in line with the internaঞonal growth of the internaঞonal aviaঞon sector and consumer demand. "Australia has consistently had to manage issues relaঞng to aviaঞon jet fuel supply and availability. As an example, in 2016 Melbourne airport experienced a severe jet fuel shortage following disrupঞons to jet fuel deliveries from a number of terminals across the city. Less than 2 million litres of aviaঞon fuel were available at the country's second busiest airport, meaning that less than 10 A380 planes had enough fuel for a long-haul flight." Bioenergy Australia reports that currently Australia imports approximately 93 per cent of its commercial jet fuel, holding roughly 20 days of fuel in store. An ideal soluঞon to deal with our fuel security supply and access, says Ms McKenzie, would be for both sides of Government to support the development of a local biofuels industry in Australia and commit to the development of a Naঞonal Strategy and roadmap to develop the industry. "Currently Australia lags well behind other naঞons in producঞon of biofuels and the receipt of its knock-on benefits. A local biofuels industry could create over 8000 direct and indirect jobs, contribute over AU$1.1 billion annually to regional communiঞes, reduce parঞculate maer in our air by 26 per cent and reduce our reliance on imported fuel by 18 per cent," commented Ms McKenzie. "Biofuels should be above poliঞcs. A local industry would create jobs, enhance fuel security, support waste reducঞon strategies and build stronger regional economies." Bioenergy Australia is the Industry associaঞon represenঞng the Bioenergy sector and its members represent some of the country's largest companies, as well as Government Departments, Industry groups and universiঞes. Bioenergy Australia calls for biofuels to re-enter fuel debate Biofuels - a forgoen soluon to Australia's fuel reserve crisis

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