As Australian motorists continue to shun the use of ethanol in their fuel, and combined with the impact of COVID on all petrol type sales, demand for biofuels declined in 2019-20.
Pre-COVID, Australia’s little changed biofuel production is at odds with the growing overseas experience where biofuel production (more so biodiesel) continued to increase in 2019, year on year.
The findings are contained in the latest annual national biofuels overview by APAC Biofuel Consultants, a joint venture between consultancies, EnergyQuest and Ecco Consulting.
APAC found that while COVID impacts contributed to an easing in biofuel use, and all fuels generally, the drop in motorists’ buying confidence was underpinned in the main by continuing consumer aversion to ethanol blended fuel – also called E10 – a blend of 10% ethanol with 90% petrol.
Exacerbating the domestic biofuel challenge mid this year was the closure of United Petroleum’s Dalby Bio-Refinery in Queensland, dealing a major blow to the country’s ethanol industry and regional development, despite considerable government assistance to stay open.
This left national ethanol production capacity relying on two refinery sites – the same scenario as far back as 2008, albeit now each with higher capacities. You can download the full release below.