Times have changed since early 2006 when PWF wrote about WA’s mallee eucalypts being good for producing oil, electricity and burning biomass, with the challenge for Narrogin’s Integrated Wood Processing (IWP) bio-energy plant being to prove that the technology exists to make these three products economically viable.
The October Industry Update reports that the Oil Malley Company of Australia (OMC) has overseen a lot of profitable private plantings across the WA Wheatbelt with significant landcare benefits and improved farming systems.
With markets being clearly identified WA alone now has 12,000 hectares of farmed oil-mallees but the industry is being held back by the lack of a harvesting system and the necessary machinery, says Rick Giles of WA’s Dept of Environment and Conservation (DEC) who has been working on such a system.
For sugar cane as for oil-mallees to be a viable crop growers must be able to harvest at a relatively low cost so, taking note of cane harvesters, a new prototype harvester has been developed by Rick Giles and engineer Harley Pederick.
Future Farm Industries Cooperative Research Centre CEO Kevin Goss believes his organisation, with the backing of the Oil Mallee Company and the DEC is well placed to develop a prospectus for further investment.
For more info: firstname.lastname@example.org