Scania says its Australian customers will benefit from the recommissioning  of Barnawartha Biodiesel plant in Northern Victoria and will be able to run their trucks and buses on  the renewable B100 biodiesel fuel.

The Just Biodiesel owned plant will be able to produce up to 50 million litres of fuel per year from locally sourced animal waste and waste vegetable oil feedstocks in either pure B100 biodiesel or as a B20 blend.

All Scania Euro 5 trucks and buses can operate on B100 if specified for it at the factory. Those not factory-specified for B100 can be converted at minimal cost, during a short visit to a Scania workshop.

Scania Australia also offers five engine applications from 320 hp to 580 hp in the Euro 6 range that can operate on B100.

One of the key biodiesel benefits is an up to 83% reduction in carbon emissions well-to-wheel (in the case of B100), as well as the advantage that locally-produced biodiesel delivers in terms of boosting national fuel security.

At Just Biodiesel’s plant in Barnawartha, the base feedstock is tallow derived from animal rendering, some of which is produced by a third-party supplier located within the boundaries of the biodiesel plant. Used cooking oil collected from restaurants around Australia can also be used in the fuel’s manufacture.

The Just Biodiesel plant will begin exporting renewable fuel in August to California and European Union customers, to markets with high demand for this fuel.

Speaking at the launch of the plant, Dr John Hewson, Chairman of Bioenergy Australia said biodiesel manufacturing in Australia had been reborn. He also said that producing biodiesel locally can play an important role in shoring up Australia’s fuel security.

“Just Biodiesel is setting an example of what can be done. The business community is moving ahead so we can make the transition to a low carbon society by the middle of this century, which is an imperative.

“The government has no fuel security strategy. We have 21 days of fuel and we have the distinction of having the dirtiest petrol in the OECD. This is a sad situation, we are very exposed, so it is not surprising that others have decided we have to get on and create fuel from alternative sources,” Dr Hewson said.

“80 per cent of the soya bean that we export to Europe is converted to biofuels. We don’t do any value-adding in that industry in this country at all. These are very significant challenges where the risk of not having a secure fuel policy is a major disadvantage to this country. We are very exposed,” he said.

“We don’t have a national waste management strategy. Feedstocks for biofuels and alternative fuels are spread right across this country so there is enormous potential for development in regional Australia for investment and jobs using existing technologies to convert waste into fuels.”

The Barnawartha plant operated by Just Biodiesel has re-employed 11 of the original staff from the facility (which was closed in 2016) and is on track to add a further 5 jobs.

The newly-elected Federal Member for Indi, Dr Helen Haines MP, said she was delighted that local jobs in regional and rural Australia could be created by the emerging biofuels industry, which also offered environmental benefits.

“I am delighted there are around 16 jobs being created in Barnawartha, and that vehicles fuelled with this biodiesel will reduce emissions substantially, if we choose to use it. I am delighted that the fuel is being exported, but I would be more thrilled if I saw Australia embracing this more fully,” Dr Haines said.