"SUPER algae" could become Central Queensland's new boom industry, with a potential $32 million farm in Rockhampton's pipeline.
The plant product is recognised foremost as a "super food", but is also a source of bio fuels, pharmaceuticals, proteins, carbohydrates, antibiotics and bioplastics.
A Malaysian company are behind the push to set up the Australia-first, 20-hectare microalgae farm and processing centre as a demo, training and production site.
The company, which cannot be named at this time, scoured Australia before a visit to the region on July 18, where it found Port Alma, Marmor and Bajool were perfect locations for super algae horticulture given their climate and proximity to salt water.
A Rockhampton Regional Council report within its latest agenda states the company chose the Lockyer Valley for their initial project given its proximity to the Brisbane Port, but indicated they would expand to Rockhampton within two years.
The RRC advise representatives of the Malaysian company met with the RRC's Economic Development and Strategic Planning team, State Government agencies, the CQUniversity and local farmers during last month's visit.
Among the local representatives was RRC senior trade and investment executive, Young Beamish, who said the project was part of council's agricultural attraction work and was well received locally.
"CQUniversity and local farmers expressed in a keen interest in working with the company in terms of research assistance, whilst Government agencies are providing options for business development," she said.
If the company progressed to the Rockhampton region, it would aim to attract farmers to grow microalgae for a wide range of products.
The RRC advised the combined potential market size for algae-derived products is in the many trillions of dollars.
The estimated cost for the project is $32 million and includes an anaerobic digester, water treatment system and electricity generation which will help with the green waste disposal in the area.
Most of the equipment needs to be imported as there are currently no similar systems in Australia.
- Microalgae can produce thousands of products;
- It can grow extremely fast and is responsible for oxygen-based life on Earth and is widely recognised as the best source of basic and super food;
- It is also the best source of bio fuels, pharmaceuticals, proteins, carbohydrates, antibiotics, bio plastics and any other biomass needed;
- The combined potential market size of algae derived products is in the many trillions of dollars; and
- Much of agriculture can convert to microalgae.
Source: Rockhampton Regional Council