Gladstone abattoir to be powered by renewables

A high-tech abattoir in Gladstone is set to be powered by renewable energy after receiving state approval.

The innovative project, to be built by the Asia Pacific Agri-corp in the Gladstone State Development Area (SDA), will be the first of its kind in Australia.

Queensland Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning Cameron Dick said the project would deliver 308 construction and 335 operational jobs after Queensland’s independent Coordinator-General approved the development application for the $308 million project.

“Once fully operational this cutting-edge facility will be capable of processing 2400 head of cattle per day ready to cater for growing demand for Australian beef,” he said.

“The development approval also provides for 95 hectares of solar panels, capable of generating 78MW of electricity or almost one third of the sites total electricity needs.

“A further energy efficiency measure includes the development of an on-site 33MW hydrogen plant to service the abattoir’s boiler.”

Queensland Minister for Agricultural Industry Development Mark Furner said the development stood to benefit local farmers.

“The abattoir, processing, packing and export facility is proposed to incorporate the latest and most advanced technologies used in meat processing plants, including the incorporation of robotic systems,” he said.

“These technologies will enable the Asia Pacific Agri-corp to adopt an innovative paddock to market supply chain arrangements, sourcing cattle directly from farmers and tracing product to the market.”

Queensland’s independent Coordinator-General has placed 29 strict conditions on the project ensuring adverse emissions, such as noise, dust and odour will not affect residents.

Asia Pacific Agri-Corp will next undertake detailed design prior to starting construction.

“A key advantage of an SDA is to promote economic development and growth adjacent to ports and around good transport facilities, such as major road and rail networks,” Mr Dick said.

“Some secondary approvals are required for the project to commence, including approval for operational works by Gladstone Regional Council and Environmental Authority permits from the Department of Environment and Science for the meat processing and irrigation activities onsite.”

Construction is expected to commence around May 2019 subject to subsequent approvals and is anticipated to be operational by 2021.