CASE STUDY: Sugar company turns waste to energy and powers one-third of Mackay City’s power

Mackay Sugar, a large sugar company, has opened a cogeneration facility that uses waste from its processes to produce electricity to meet one third of Mackay City’s power needs, as well as supply steam and electricity to its own mill and sugar refinery.

As an accredited renewable energy power station, under the Renewable Energy Target (RET) scheme, the new cogeneration facility will create Large-scale Generation Certificates based on the amount of renewable electricity it produces.  

“The revenue stream from the sale of these certificates will support the viability of new power generation projects,” said Parliamentary Secretary for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency, Yvette D’Ath. 

The broader efficiency improvements being undertaken at Mackay Sugar will reduce the company’s overall carbon emissions by 71%, which is expected to lead to significant savings on energy costs, and help ensure a bright future for the local sugar industry.

Combined funding of $9.1 million was provided from the Clean Technology Food and Foundries Investment Program in August 2012 for the major upgrade of a boiler at Mackay Sugar’s Marian Mill and for the construction of bagasse handling facilities at the Racecourse Mill to improve the supply, transport and storage of surplus bagasse to fuel, the newly constructed green-energy generator. 

Clean Technology Investment Programs are funded by carbon price revenue.  Australian manufacturers, food processers and foundries are encouraged to apply for funding, under the –

        – Clean Technology Investment Programs – which provides practical assistance to businesses to become more efficient, more competitive and more sustainable

  • ·       Clean Technology Innovation Program – which provides opportunities for businesses to develop and commercialise innovative ways of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. 

For further information regarding funding under the Clean Technology Program, contact AusIndustry on 13 28 46 or visit

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