5 March 2014 — With debate raging on how to protect against more manufacturing closes, the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, in its first public investment move since the federal election, has stepped in to announce it will finance new biogas infrastructure designed to cut energy costs for agribusinesses and manufacturers.
Biogas could help food producers and manufacturers across the country benefit from greater control over their energy costs and improve competitiveness in a global marketplace, CEFC chief executive Oliver Yates said, with the technology allowing them to generate energy from onsite waste streams.
The CEFC finance to biogas specialist Quantum Power will help catalyse up to $40 million in new biogas infrastructure.
“Agribusiness plays an important economic role in regional Australia, helping to feed the nation and service growing export markets,” Mr Yates said. “The food processing sector has faced rising energy costs and getting control of those costs helps with their competitiveness.
“Our agreement with biogas specialist Quantum Power enables food processers and other agribusinesses to turn onsite waste streams into a valuable source of energy. Quantum Power will build and manage the onsite facilities, leaving businesses free to keep focused on their core operations.”
Finance for agreed Quantum Power projects will be on a deal-by-deal basis, with each project likely to cost between $2 million to $4 million depending on size and scope.
Quantum Power chief executive Richard Brimblecombe said his company built, owned, operated and maintained biogas plants at no upfront cost to the user.
“Our plants convert the business’s organic waste to a bioenergy supply that is used to power its operations and the company agrees to purchase the generated power at an agreed rate for a specified time. This gives the business certainty over its power bills and reduces costs associated with organic waste disposal.”