CSR positions itself for growth in fuel ethanol

CSR Ethanol celebrated the fuel grade ethanol expansion of its Sarina distillery in Queensland today, with an official opening by The Hon. Ian Macfarlane, The Federal Minister forIndustry, Tourism and Resources.He was joined by the CSR board, Managing Director of CSR Limited, Mr Alec Brennan and Chief Executive Officer of Sugar, Mr Ian Glasson.

At a cost of $15m, the expanded plant will provide an additional 32 million litres of fuel grade ethanol for the Australian market.The expansion which included the installation of a molecular sieve unit more than trebles CSR’s capability to produce fuel ethanol

Mr Ian Glasson, Chief Executive Officer of Sugar, noted that “the Sarina fuel grade ethanol expansion has stepped up our ability to provide a renewable fuel source on a much greater scale.CSR is one of two major producers in the Australian ethanol industry and this expansion ensures we are well placed to meet Australia’s growing demands.”

In support of the Sarina upgrade project, CSR has received a Federal Government Australian Biofuels Capital Grant of $4.2 million and a Queensland Government grant of $250,000 under the Sugar Industry Innovation Fund.

The Sarina distillery is an example of CSR’s ongoing investment in the local community.CSR started producing ethanol from molasses in 1901.CSR Ethanol employs 80 people to support the business with 40 of those employees working at the Sarina distillery. Overall, CSR is helping to lay the foundation for a sustainable future, ensuring viable job options for generations to come.

CSR is currently in the advanced stages of a feasibility study to assess the construction of large scale plants in other regional areas to supply northern and southern markets.

Mr Gavin Hughes, General Manager CSR Ethanol, said “Post 2011 Australian producers will need to compete with imports on an equal ‘playing field’. In order to be internationally competitive, plants will need to be of a large scale — greater than 200 mega litres. Currently the economics favour grain for a large scale plant, but all possible raw materials continue to be evaluated.”

Mr Alec Brennan, CSR’s Managing Director and CEO, adds “Fuel ethanol as a renewable fuel is gaining acceptance.The market is developing well and if our investment plans are fully realised CSR would make a major contribution to meeting the Government’s renewable fuel targets.”