Australasia's home for timber news and information

Ethanol a source of economic stability for Tasmania

Tasmania could become home to Australia’s first commercial plant converting trees into the biofuel, ethanol. Source: Yahoo 7 News

Timber communities in Dorset and the Huon Valley are in formal talks with the developers of technology that allows ethanol to be produced from trees and forest waste.

Alan Davenport from Dorset Renewable Industries said the fledgling industry would create local jobs.

“It’s a potential catalyst to really kick start the timber industry again in the region,” said Davenport.

“The figures that we’re looking at initially are about 75 dollars a green tonne of product supplied to the mill, which compares very well to what they’ve been receiving in the past.”

A pilot plant is already running in New South Wales.

The inventor of the technology Russell Reeves concedes there could be teething problems for developers of the first commercial plant.

“It’s a matter of who puts their hand up first to take that risk,” Reeves said.

A plant would cost about $100 million to build.