SPECULATION this week that the $550 million North Queensland Bio-Energy project at Ingham was in doubt was dismissed today when company chairman, Mr Robert Carey, issued a public statement that the sugar-based renewable energy facility remained on target for commencement of operations in June 2018.
Mr Carey said NQBE had been precluded from making an earlier announcement on the future of the project because of legal obligations contained in an agreement between NQBE and Elecnor, the company which was engaged to carry out the Front End Engineering Design (FEED) and Engineering Procurement and Construction (EPC) price for the project.
“The FEED document was initially due on 31 August 2015 but Elecnor requested, and NQBE granted, an extension to 31 October 2015,” Mr Carey said.
“The FEED document and EPC price which was delivered by Elecnor on 31 October 2015 was incomplete.
Many companies contacted by Elecnor to supply quotations have expressed concern to NQBE about the lack of information supplied by Elecnor, making it impossible to provide accurate quotations for components and construction costs, resulting in an EPC price that was grossly overstated.
“Based on the EPC price provided by Elecnor the project was not financially viable. However the NQBE Board is convinced that, based on discussions with parties involved in similar projects around the world, the project can be delivered at a price that not only meets our expectations but will also ensure financial viability for NQBE shareholders.
“The NQBE Board, through its general managers Tom Hare (current) and the late Ken McIntosh who collectively have in excess of 80 years experience in this field, has over the past three years, undertaken an enormous amount of research and due diligence into component and construction costings and other matters.
“A project of this size is complicated and not without its difficulties and challenges. The NQBE Board has dealt with these difficulties and challenges on a daily basis and is confident of not only delivering the project but also revolutionising the sugar industry in Australia.
Mr Carey said funding for the project was “on track” with four investors currently undertaking due diligence on the project and the debt financing is under control.
Robert M Carey
North Queensland Bio-Energy Corporation Limited
Mobile: 0418 778 403