We (BioEnergy Plantations Australia) are a company dedicated to the creation of an economically and environmentally viable alternative to fossil fuels by the use of Pongamia Pinnata (AKA Milletia Pinnata). We believe this vision can only be achieved by solid research and development in the lead up to commercialisation to enable a strong industry to develop. We have now reached the stage where an economically and environmentally sound model has been achieved, and we are now seeking like minded people to move forward with us.
What Do We Do?
- Selection and propagation of elite varieties of Pongamia (Millettia) pinnata through seed, grafting and tissue culture from mature wood. Also ongoing research into propagation techniques.
- Funding of genetic research undertaken by Professor Peter Gresshoff with the University of Queensland’s ARC Centre of Excellence for Integrative Legume Research).
- Plantation design, layout, land preparation , and management
- Research at research farm near Elimbah – silviculture, propagation, equipment
- Establishing a commercial Farm near Mackay
How Can We Help You?
consultancy for planning and development of all facets of the Pongamia business through to end use of products.
- Site assessment and feasibility
- Plantation design
- Land preparation, planting, establishment ,
- Economic modelling and strategies
- Management strategies
- Marketing, processing
- Sale of trees whether seed grown or clonal
- Off-take agreements
The ultimate goal is to significantly impact the use of liquid fossil fuels in Australia.
above: 300 hectare trial of Pongamia (Millettia) Pinnata in Western Queensland.
Why Do Other Sites Show So Much Higher Yields For Millettia than Pongamia?
Millettia and Pongamia are just different names for the same tree. Others include Honge, Karanji, Kalpa and Indian Beech to name but a few (see the wiki here for more details).
When quoting yields the size is important – check if the tree quoted is of a practical size for a plantation, and if the quoted weight for a young tree could be supported by that size of tree. For a visual indication, an average mature plantation tree (approx 18 years old tree pictured right), which appears very heavily laden with seeds, would be very unlikely to support more than 150kg
Why Pongamia (Millettia)?
- Native to Australia and is not an invasive weed threat
- Climatically suited to Northern Australia (prefers environment of 25-40 degrees)
- Legume (fixes nitrogen)
- Drought tolerant
- Produces Food & Fuel at the same time – the crushing byproduct ( meal) if treated can be used as a protein supplement for cattle
- Sequesters Carbon (tree growth & Fuel substitution)
- Can be mechanically harvested*
- Direct use of oil in modified engine
- Can be converted into high quality BioDiesel or 2nd Generation biofuels
- Cost effective broad acre solution
- 200x200km planted out with Pongamia (Millettia) could replace all of Australia’s liquid fuel needs
- Generally4-5 years until first yield, 8 years until
- suitable for interrow cropping during first 3 years of growth
- Livestock grazing from about year 3-5 depending on growth rate and livestock chosen
In 2007, Bioenergy Research (BER) was formed by George Muirhead and Gary Seaton to further research and commercialise Pongamia (Milletia) Pinnata as a bioenergy crop. This research had been initiated by Pacific Renewable Energy (PRE), including a pilot program with the University of Queensland’s ARC Centre of Excellence in Legume Research, headed by Professor Peter Gresshoff, to undertake research into key areas essential to optimize the productive potential of the species. This was necessary due to the wide genetic diversity evidenced in the species. They considered that the selection and propagation of the right genetics is the key to the establishment of a long term viable industry. BER continued this research with the university.
To reflect the intended change in direction from primarily a research company, to a commercial pongamia plantation company, the name has been changed to BioEnergy Plantations Australia (BPA).
Who Are We?