A new $4.8 million facility that will give Victorians greater access to biodiesel was officially opened in Melbourne today by Minister for Manufacturing, Exports and Trade Richard Dalla-Riva.
Representing Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional and Rural Development Peter Ryan, Mr Dalla-Riva said the facility at Shell's Newport Terminal would store biodiesel, which is made from tallow – an abattoir waste product – and used cooking oil.
"The Barnawartha refining facility represents a $60 million investment in regional Victoria, which can produce up to 60 million litres of biodiesel each year," Mr Dalla-Riva said.
"Shell's investment in this facility will give people in Victoria greater access to biodiesel produced in regional Victoria, which will support jobs and investment and expand the local biofuels industry."
Mr Ryan said the Newport storage facility would enable the annual distribution of up to 50 million litres of biodiesel into Victoria's retail distribution channels.
"This will improve the diversity of fuel supplied in Victoria and underpin the future of Australian Renewable Fuels' (ARF's) Barnawartha plant and its 24 employees. It will also create many more indirect jobs that support the regional supply chain," Mr Ryan said.
"Replacing diesel with biodiesel reduces emissions. Biodiesel is non-toxic, biodegradable and suitable for sensitive environments. It has a higher flashpoint which makes it safer to store and transport."
Mr Ryan said the Victorian Coalition Government had provided $2 million funding towards the storage facility.
Shell Vice-President of Downstream Australia Andrew Smith said after a lengthy and robust quality assurance process he was confident of supplying a B20 product of consistently high quality to the Victorian market.
"This has been a collaborative effort between Shell, the Victorian Government and ARF in Barnawartha," Mr Smith said.