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Cobar BioHub to begin work next year

Western Plains App

River McCrossen

05 June 2024, 9:20 PM

Cobar BioHub to begin work next yearThe BioHub biomass project is expected to create 50 jobs in Cobar. PHOTO: Kyle Ellefson/ Unsplash

Cobar is looking at having a biomass facility up and running next year as Renewed Carbon hits the environmental impacts stage of the approval process.


The BioHub was proposed in 2014 and aims to rejuvenate bushland by removing invasive native plant species and transforming the resulting biomass into products like charcoal and essential oils.

Renewed Carbon's Development Manager Peter Van Herk said he expects the project to initially generate 50 jobs.


"The implementation timeline, if nothing gets in the road that we don't expect, is that we start invasive native species removal around June-July next year," Mr Van Herk told the Western Plains App.


"Prior to that, basically it'll be around January where we start working on site because we have to have the biomass receival areas in place by the time we start bringing it in."


He said that's because the biomass needs to be handled in a facility.


"You can't just process this and put it in heaps, it self-combusts. So, you've got to be able to put it out and dry it," Mr Van Herk said.


He said BioHub aims to begin "soft hiring" in January 2025 before swinging into "hard hiring" around May next year. 

 Cobar mayor Jarrod Marsden said he sees the project making tangible progress. 


"I think it's good that we're starting to get a little bit firmer grip on the ground and starting to see some of the talk turn into reality," Cr Marsden said.


"I think there's still some people that have got some questions around how it'll function once it's up and running, but it seems to be moving forwards, which is always a positive.


"It's obviously a new industry for our area, and something that provides employment to the locals will be most welcome."