Construction of a $500 million State Government approved renewable power, sugar and bio products facility in Ingham, North Queensland, is on target for completion in 2016 following a breakthrough agreement with an international partner announced today.
In a joint statement, North Queensland Bio-Energy Corporation Limited (NQBE) and China’s Nanning Good Fortune Heavy Industry Co. Ltd (GFHI) said the two companies had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in relation to the provision of equity and supply of plant and equipment for the ground-breaking project.
The facility, which will be the first of its kind in Australia, will be the most technically advanced sugar processing facility of its type in the world.
GFHI is a Chinese state-owned producer of heavy duty machinery, based in Guangxi Provence in Southern China.
GFHI manufactures plant and equipment for the sugar, hydro power, thermal power, mining, cement, chemical and building industries throughout Asia, Africa, Europe, South America and Oceania.
The company also has investments in numerous factories producing sugar, power, alcohol, and paper.
Since being founded in 1958, GFHI has built over 100 major sugar facilities and over 200 power projects.
NQBE is a company owned predominantly by 220 Herbert River (Ingham) sugar cane farmers who are committed to diversification in their industry.
NQBE Chairman, Robert Carey, said the agreement between the two companies had come after more than three months of intense negotiations, including discussion and negotiations in Ingham during the past five days between principals and representatives of both companies.
“NQBE is obviously delighted to have reached an agreement with GFHI which will allow the project to proceed this year and for the facility to commence operating in June 2016 in time for that year’s sugar cane harvest,” Mr Carey said.
“Having such a highly respected and reputable partner as GFHI as a project partner in NQBE is a major boost for the project and a does provide a great degree of comfort to the founding NQBE shareholders. Together, we are now confident of being able to deliver on our promise to construct a new state-of-the-art sugar based facility that will set a new benchmark for the Australian Sugar Industry.”
GFHI Special Assistant to Chairman and Chief Negotiations Officer, Mr Yang Xiang Yu, said his company was proud to partner with NQBE to construct such a cutting edge facility.
“We have been very impressed with the amount of work and detail that the NQBE team have put into the design of the facility and also the way that the Ingham cane farmers have fought to improve their outlook by embracing diversification through new technology,” Mr Yang said.
“We look forward to a successful association with NQBE and the local cane farmers who have shown faith in this project and the local community.
We do understand the significance of this project for the future of the Ingham community.”
Mr Carey said the focus was now on completing detailed engineering drawings and associated work, including tender packages.
“We face a tight timeline, however, NQBE has shown in the past that it is ready, willing and able to embrace challenges and deadlines, and this is no different. The important thing is that NQBE has secured its major equity partner and it is full steam ahead.”
“We have an obligation to our shareholders (mostly cane farmers) to deliver this project in 2016 and with the help of GFHI, we are now well placed to do that.”
NQBE would like to express appreciation to Swanshell Australia for facilitating the introduction to the Nanning Group.
Robert M Carey
Chairman – NQBE
Mr Yang Xiang Yu
Special Assistant to Chairman and Chief Negotiations Officer