Queensland’s mining industry received a massive boost after the recent opening of the country’s biggest oil recycling plant.
According to Environment Minister Andrew Powell, the $55 million Yarwun-based re-refinery promises to deliver a “major environmental coup” for the Sunshine State, with its capacity to process up to 100 per cent of the state’s waste lube oil.
“This is another great example of this government’s commitment to deliver truly sustainable development,” he said.
“We are working with business and industry to use innovation to grow resource recovery and improve environmental outcomes, particularly in regional areas where mining activities occur.”
Mr Powell also revealed just why Queensland needed a dedicated, local oil re-refinery. The state accounts for almost a third of Australia’s total annual waste lube oil production, the majority of which comes from mining engineering operations.
Now, instead of simply going to waste, mining companies around the state can send their excess oil to the plant to be recycled. The re-refinery – a joint venture from Southern Oil and JJ Richards and Sons – produces no additional waste from its processes, and around 99 per cent of the oil can be recovered for re-use as high-quality lube oil.
Once fully up and running, the plant will have the potential to process around 100 million litres of waste lube oil each year.
However, there is still plenty of work to be done before the plant can become a success. Tim Rose, managing director of Southern Oil, said that cooperation with different industry stakeholders is key.
“Now we need strong support from waste oil producers like mines and local governments to direct their waste lube oil to be re-refined, rather than burned and wasted which is what mainly happens now,” he said.