oil, gas and macadamias----------

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    Macadamia Shells to Fuel Power Station
    Thu May 22, 2003 09:19 AM ET
    MELBOURNE (Reuters) - A new renewable energy source has emerged in Australia with the development of the world's first power station to be fueled by waste macadamia-nut shells.
    Construction began this week on the A$3 million ($2 million) power plant in the northern state of Queensland, which will use 5,000 tonnes of shells annually from Australia's native macadamia nuts as fuel for the 1.5 megawatt generator.

    The biomass co-generation plant, which is a joint venture between Queensland state-owned Ergon Energy and macadamia nut producer Suncoast Gold Macadamias, will generate 9.5 gigawatt hours of electricity annually to supply more than 1,200 homes.

    Ergon Energy's retail general manager, Kate Skilleter, said the macadamia power plant was expected to be operating by August and would reduce greenhouse gases by around 9,500 tonnes a year -- the equivalent of taking more than 2,000 cars off the roads.

    "This project...could be replicated across a range of other industries, including peanut, timber, meat, wheat and grain processing, where waste streams could generate heat, electricity and revenue," Skilleter said.

    The joint venture said it aimed to double the power plant's output by 2005, when the shell waste from Suncoast Gold Macadamias was expected to have increased to 10,000 tonnes.

    Suncoast Gold Macadamias plans to use 1.4 gigawatt hours annually while the rest will be exported and traded in the national electricity market.
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