Thu 8 June, 2023

Australian bioenergy developer Valorify is delighted to announce the imminent completion of pre-FEED activities in relation to its flagship ‘Ararat Bioenergy’ project, prompting the release of binding feedstock contracts.

Valorify CEO Dr Scott Grierson says the project is entering an exciting phase and could see construction commence in mid-2024, following the final stages of detailed engineering, procurement, approvals and project financing.

“Valorify has been working in partnership with Ararat Rural City and local straw suppliers for some time now. We are very grateful for the interest, engagement and patience that everyone has shown over the journey so far and although there is more work to do to demonstrate a firm business case and finalise the design, we can advise that the project fundamentals appear to be positive,” Dr Grierson said.

“Based on the considerable offtake interest for green gas we are seeing in the energy market, we are now looking to progress the Ararat Bioenergy project into bankable territory and are happy with the pricing structure and terms that have been negotiated with local farmers, with ‘shared value’ being a major principle of the approach”, he said.

Valorify has made a commitment to regional investment, manufacturing and employment as part of the proposed project delivery structure and hopes this will be a transformative initiative that may be well timed on several fronts.

“All going well, the project construction and commissioning timetable should see renewable gas flowing from our facility in advance of the anticipated shortfall in domestic natural gas supplies, which could work for us, while at the same time aligning to growing expectations of a ban on farm stubble burnoff. In any case, the Ararat Bioenergy project provides an annual solution for farmers wishing to clear their land and sell their straw instead of having to dispose of it, while contributing to decarbonisation of the economy,” Dr Grierson said.

Ararat Rural City’s CEO, Dr Tim Harrison, is increasingly confident in the project and sees a broad range of possibilities emerging for local industry and the community, including in relation to activation of policy initiatives around the Circular Economy.

“We have been engaged through a Project Reference Group with several prominent croppers and agricultural interests in the region to invite their feedback, and have spent a lot of time with Valorify in running this project to ground. Overall, there appears to be considerable momentum building now that actual contracts are out there in the market.”

Valorify’s flagship Ararat Bioenergy project will convert cereal straw and other agricultural waste leftover from farms in Victoria’s western districts into biomethane, biofertiliser, renewable fuels and/or biogenic carbon products, providing a new revenue stream for farmers and delivering employment, innovation and investment to regional Australia.

“Overall, there has never been a better time for this project and for locals to get behind the initiative. It’s such a natural fit for a major agricultural region like this and will really place us on the map, likely to be the largest bioenergy facility in the southern hemisphere, once established,” Dr Harrison said.


Dr Scott Grierson

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