Macadamia Shells to Fuel Power Station

July 17, 2003 by Jeff Shepard

Queensland state-owned Ergon Energy and macadamia nut producer Suncoast Gold Macadamias, announced a joint venture to develop a power station that will be fueled by waste macadamia nut shells. Construction began on the $2 million, biomass, co-generation, power plant in the northern state of Queensland, which will use 5,000 tonnes of shells as fuel for the 1.5MW generator that will generate 9/5GWh of electricity annually to supply more than 1,200 homes.

The macadamia power plant is expected to be operating by Aygust 2003 and will reduce greenhouse gases by around 9,500 tonnes a year - the equivalent of taking more than 2,000 cars off the roads. The joint venture aims to double the plant's output by 2005, when the shell waste from Suncoast is expected to have increased to 10,000 tonnes. Suncoast plans to use 1.4GWh annually while the rest will be exported and traded in the national electricity market.