Mayor of Moira Shire Council, Libro Mustica welcomed AgBioEn Directors, local counsellor’s, media representatives together with local businesses yesterday morning to Kutunga in regional Victoria where AgBioEn commenced earthworks on its first renewable energy plant.
"The site is going to create approximately 1,000 new jobs in the region, not just new jobs from the AgBioEn facility, but jobs as a result of the development of farming and food production in other parts of the Moira Shire" said Cr Mustica.
The facility will be a key part of Australia’s first large scale, fully integrated renewable energy business operation and worth $2 billion.
AgBioEn will incorporate world-class technology to deliver clean, low emission renewable energy and liquid fuels.
Peter Holmgren, AgBioEn Managing Director said “I’ve spent 30 years in the energy sector predominantly in petroleum and I think it’s a sign of the times – this is coming. The renewable fuels are coming, the demand is already there. I’m taking calls every day from large corporates including multinational companies, mining companies, construction companies. They’re searching for sustainability and renewable fuel. I’m extremely excited to be involved from the outset of this project”.
Lubey Lozevski, AgBioEn Program Director went on to say, “we need the government to back these types of projects so we can roll these projects across other states. The other key thing is we are working within the TAFE area; together with La Trobe University Shepparton and Melbourne University is to create new courses, traineeships, apprenticeships and scholarships as we grow in the future. We are also doing crop trials with Go TAFE and Melbourne University to make sure we grow high energy crops in the future to support the project”.
Ndevr Managing Director, Matt Drum, said “Ndevr Environmental have been delighted to work with AgBioEn and assist in quantifying the significant carbon savings achievable from the Katunga facility. The project and the company ticks all the boxes; climate action, regional jobs and alternate fuels for the industry in desperate need of solutions. What’s more, they practice what they preach, having supported major events such as the Kooyong Classic to become carbon neutral”.
AgBioEn Chairman, Charles Hunting said, “producing cost-effective renewable energy and fuels at Katunga will allow local businesses to expand and also offer multi-industry benefits including providing a supply chain that is net carbon negative”.
This new source of renewable energy and fuels will enable another forty hectares of glasshouses that will be constructed during the next four years.
Local firm Chris Smith & Associates is managing the work and Kris Lee Earthworks from Katunga is performing the initial on-site works.
AgBioEn aims to complete the construction phase of the project by March 2021 and expect full production capacity by the end of 2022.