Eco Innovator November 2011

Government Grants

Funding for Algae Fuels Initiative

Aurora Algae Pty Ltd, which produces biofuel from algae in Karratha in Western Australia, is on track to become the first recipient of the WA Government's Low Emissions Energy Development (LEED) funding to complete all its project milestones.

Aurora Algae received more than $1.98 million in 2010 for a project to source carbon dioxide from a major industrial plant and use it as feedstock for algal production and then for production of biodiesel and other algal products.

WA environment minister Bill Marmion said the company has successfully completed eight of the 10 milestones, with $1.83 million from the LEED fund paid to date.

"One of Aurora's major achievements is the successful test driving of a vehicle running on biodiesel produced from algae grown at the Karratha facility. Other milestones include the construction of ponds and systems required for the culturing and harvesting of algae."

Aurora Algae Inc is headquartered in the US and its subsidiary, Aurora Algae Pty Ltd, has its office in Perth and its production facility in Karratha. Aurora Algae Inc is US venture capital funded by Oak Investment Partners, Gabriel Venture Partners, and Noventi Ventures.

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Aurora Algae’s facility at Karratha.

It was recently chosen by AlwaysOn as one of the GoingGreen Global 200 winners, which it says signifies game-changing approaches and technologies that are likely to disrupt existing markets and entrenched players. The criteria on which it was selected were innovation, market potential, commercialization, stakeholder value and media buzz.

LEED funding is assisting the development of new, low emission technologies such as solar, wave, tidal and geothermal energy. Other projects funded in the first three LEED rounds include an oil mallee harvester which has harvested over 200 tonnes of mallee, and Carnegie Wave Energy which has completed in-water testing off Garden Island and is now completing the design for a larger, grid-connected facility.

The LEED fund has invested $22 million since 2009, and a fourth round will see a further $8 million invested this year. Funding is on a matching basis of $1 of Government funds for at least $3 from elsewhere.






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