Qld biorefinery plan takes off to power Qantas flights with clean fuel    

Published Thursday, 30 March, 2023 at 12:49 PM


Premier and Minister for the Olympic and Paralympic Games
The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk

Deputy Premier, Minister for State Development, Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning and Minister Assisting the Premier on Olympic and Paralympic Games Infrastructure
The Honourable Dr Steven Miles

  • New biorefinery slated for Queensland could produce sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) to power flights across Australia and create 1,000 construction and 100 operational jobs
  • The Palaszczuk Government is contributing $760,000 towards the project
  • Construction could start as early as 2024

Queensland is set to soar as Australia’s SAF capital, with plans revealed today for a biorefinery that will help power the nation’s aviation market with green jet fuel.

Jet Zero Australia has started a feasibility study for the facility, which could produce more than 100 million litres of SAF a year for use in domestic flights, including by the Qantas Group.

The project, which is the first investment under the Qantas and Airbus sustainable fuel partnership, will potentially create about 100 full-time jobs and employ more than 1,000 workers during construction.

Low carbon jet fuel produced on home soil will be key for airlines to achieve net zero emissions by 2050.

It can be used in existing aircraft engines and airport refuelling infrastructure to cut carbon emissions by more than 80 per cent. 

The funding will be used to complete existing feasibility work and finalise the review of a site in Queensland for the facility.

Quotes attributable to Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk:

“The global race to lower emissions is now extending into the skies.

“Today’s announcement is another step towards Queensland becoming the sustainable aviation fuel powerhouse of Australia.

“Queensland is perfectly positioned to be a clean energy superpower because we have both the sunshine and feedstocks including the largest sugar industry in the nation.

“That means Queensland can make the sustainable aviation fuel needed to provide fuel security for the nation and our trade partners to make air travel sustainable providing a long-term future for our tourism industry.”

Quotes attributable to Deputy Premier Steven Miles:

“With our rich supply of feedstock, Queensland is in the perfect position to capitalise on the global shift to green jet fuels and become the leader of a local SAF industry and create good, skilled jobs for Queenslanders and new export opportunities.

“This co-funding by the Queensland Government, Qantas, Airbus and partnership with Lanzajet is a great example of working together to stand-up the industries of the future.

“Our recent SAF Industry Roundtable reinforced that Queensland is already leading national efforts to build a biofuels industry.

“This is another signal to the world that we are ready for take-off as a clean energy powerhouse.”

Quotes attributable to Qantas Group Chief Sustainability Officer Andrew Parker:

“Sustainable aviation fuel is critical to the decarbonisation of the aviation industry.

“This investment will help kickstart an innovative project to turn agricultural by-products into sustainable aviation fuel and create a significant domestic biofuels refinery.

“This is one of several projects that we are looking to fund this year, all of which will help accelerate the development of a local SAF industry in Australia.”

Quotes attributable to Jet Zero Australia Chief Executive Officer Ed Mason:

“We are excited to have strong investment support from the Palaszczuk Government, Qantas and Airbus and to have executed an agreement between Qantas and LanzaJet to complete feasibility studies to build Australia’s first Alcohol-to-Jet (ATJ) SAF plant.

“Our project partners are leaders in their respective fields of aviation and we are proud to work with them to help Australian businesses and the Queensland Government drive real reductions in aviation emissions and ultimately develop a new industry to support our local agriculture, energy and aviation sectors.”

Quotes attributable to LanzaJet Chief Executive Officer Jimmy Samartzis:

“We have enjoyed the privilege of partnering with public and private sector leaders around the world to fight climate change and enable the global energy transition, and this is an important step forward in Australia.

“LanzaJet looks forward to seeing the impact this project has on Australia’s domestic biofuels industry as well as the larger global impact.”

Quotes attributable to Airbus Executive Vice President, Corporate Affairs and Sustainability Julie Kitcher:

“There is a growing positive momentum around SAF, and it is now time to move from commitments to concrete actions.

“The selection of the first investment under our joint partnership with Qantas is an example of such action, with the potential to deliver SAF locally in Australia and to be a model for other locations around the world."

Further information

Qantas is currently using green aviation fuel sourced overseas and the airline giant has committed to hit 10 per cent SAF in its fuel mix by 2030, most of which it would like to source from Australia.

Lanzajet, a world leader in SAF Alcohol-to-Jet plants, has also signed on as the technology partner for the project.

An Australian SAF industry is expected to be worth $3 billion annually and could create up to 15,600 jobs nationwide by 2050.

The Jet Zero Australia project is further progress towards growing Queensland’s sustainable fuels industry under the Queensland Biofutures 10-Year Roadmap and Action Plan.

Media contact: Emilia Hutchinson - 0437 060 435