A FIRE at United Ethanol’s Dalby Bio-Refinery on 31 May has not affected its intake of grain, or output of wet and dried distillers grain, the by-products of ethanol production which are consumed by the dairy, pork and feedlot sectors.
The plant is a significant user of sorghum and feed barley on Queensland’s Darling Downs and consumes around 3600 tonnes of grain per week.
Dalby Bio-Refinery general manager production, Brett Kuskopf, said the fire was much smaller than the one in May last year which affected the plant’s operations.
“This one didn’t affect operations at all,” he said.
“We’re processing normally but, like every other business dependent on grain, we’re suffering because of the high prices.”
A Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFRS) incident report said it was called to the plant at 11pm on 31 May, and the three crews which attended had all departed the scene by 1.15am on 1 June.
“It was a small and low-risk internal fire in a part of the plant related to our drier, and emergency services were called to help cool it down.”
Dalby Bio-Refinery has been supplying wet distillers grain (WDG), or wetcake, to feedlot customers since it commenced operations in 2008, and the installation of a drier has enabled it to also offer dried distillers grain (DDG), or drycake, to the feed market.
While last year’s fire suspended the plant’s ability to produce drycake in the short-term, the 31 May fire has not interrupted production.
“Drycake goes to a number of customers, mostly in the pork and dairy sectors, and wetcake goes to cattle feedlots.
“We make both products, and they’re both in strong demand because grain prices are so high.”
The Dalby Bio-Refinery opened in 2008, and provides ethanol for United Petroleum as well as BP, Viva (Shell) and Puma.