QLD ports could be major refuelling stations for US Navy

REGIONAL Queensland port cities could become major Pacific Ocean refuelling stations for the US Navy's Great Green Fleet.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and US Deputy Undersecretary of the Navy for Management Thomas Hicks on Wednesday signed a statement of cooperation to work towards providing the American Navy with alternative fuels.

The statement says Queensland is "well-positioned to advance the development of a domestic drop-in alternative fuels capability" for the American and Australian navies.

Ms Palaszczuk said port cities including Mackay, Gladstone and Bundaberg could be among the big beneficiaries of the plan.

"There's opportunities right up and down our coast," she said.

"Gladstone, Mackay, Bundaberg - even up to Townsville and Cairns. We'll be working with the industry."

Ms Palaszczuk said Mr Hicks has already met with Gladstone-based oil company Southern Oil.

Mr Hicks said the US Navy spent about US$3 billion on fuel a year.

The Premier said Queensland was committed to establishing a biofuels industry and a deal with the US Navy would ensure its viability.

"What the US Navy is saying very clearly to us is 'We need this supply, can you meet this supply in the future'," she said.

"And that's what we are throwing everything at to make sure we can be that player."

Mr Hicks said the US Navy would be open to using Queensland biofuel "as it became available".

Although the US Navy had deals with the Australian and Italian navies, the agreement with a state government was "unique".

"It's a very, very obvious for us to do because of the great vision, leadership and passion we saw coming from Queensland and the Premier on this topic," he said. 

Ms Palaszczuk pointed to Queensland's LNG industry as proof the state could successfully develop new sectors. - ARM NEWSDESK

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