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Thread: Illabunda Community Biodiesel Project

  1. #1
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    Illabunda Community Biodiesel Project

    I've started this thread, as I'd made a bit of a mess of 2 previous threads on this subject which I had to merge.

    A few people have now volunteered to help on this project, so we will use this thread as a place to get it going.

    We need to arrange to meet with Jonathan from Illabunda, probably best to do this on a weekend afternoon at his property.

    We will need to plan what we can make, how we can make it, how big it will be etc. We also have to design something that can be disassembled and moved around without too much hassle, as the Illubunda site is not yet ready for a dedicated area for biodiesel. Whether we make a unit that we can pack up with an hour or two's effort each time and re-assemble, or whether we make something that works in the back of a trailer is entirely up to us.

    So, we need some good ideas, some commitment to help and some attendance on a date we pick amongst ourselves. I'd like to nominate Saturday the 28th of April as a start, but if anyone has any other ideas, post them here.
    Robert.
    Site Admin.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    WA
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    Re: Illabunda Community Biodiesel Project

    Robert,
    If the processor is to be registered with the ATO, I have been informed by a registered biodiesel producer that they refused to register his planned trailer mounted processor. - Something about being able to account for all of the biodiesel produced - for excise accountability.

    A skid mounted processor or a processor which could be disassembled for transport could be OK. You would need to verify this with the ATO people.

    Regards,
    Tony

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    Sydney
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    Re: Illabunda Community Biodiesel Project

    I can make 28th OK, so count me in.

    If we can get the discussion going in here first and some early decisions made, it will make the meeting a whole load more productive. So it would be good if Jonathan can join in here and tell us what he wants.

    Some decisions we can make, or at least get onto the table:
    • Basic design (e.g. Appleseed)
    • How many L per week i.e. how big does the processor need to be?
    • Portable or fixed? (looks like this has already been answered by Robert - i.e. portable)
    • Indoor or weatherproof? (from above it needs to be weatherproof)
    • Any ATO considerations as Tony mentioned (somebody needs to research this)
    • Budget and where will this come from?
    That's a start anyway. I hope that stimulates some thought by other members, so we can get some meaningful discussion going on.

    Ideally it would be good to get a lot of this resolved before meeting up, and then we could start looking at putting together parts lists, sourcing equipment, location etc.

  4. #4
    David Guest

    Re: Illabunda Community Biodiesel Project

    My suggestion is that this venture ought to be set up like a business partnership.
    The first thing you do in that is figure out how it will end and who gets what along the way.
    In this case, the dividing up of the bounty if the project falls over is probably not as important as how the project will work and what people will be expected to put in and get out of it. No use building something then everyone not being happy with the way the system works and feels hard done by.

    As such, I believe it is important to work out before anything is built, the practical aspects of the cost and/ or division of the final product and set some parameters of how the whole thing will work. We need to have some basis of determining who gets the bio, how much it will cost, who is entitled to how much, the value of contributions to the project in effort and labour and manufacture of the the end product with regards to people providing or collecting oil, ..... etc, etc,

    I believe it would also be wise to consider drawing up a list of jobs that need to be done on an ongoing basis that people would take turns in doing and the appointment of a person or number of people to administer and co-ordinate the building and running of the project.

    These are all practical and important considerations that will HAVE to be addressed and best they are decided on before anyone has invested anything in the project or feels their efforts have not be adequately compensated.
    Without these matters being worked out in advance, I believe there is the potential for much discontent and dissapointment in the future.

    To avoid these sorts of issues in business, everyone's role, duties and responsibilities is worked out in advance, (including what the partners will be paid) so everyone knows what is expected when they go in and what they will get out of it.

    I have been told the Melbourne group did a similar project but there were problems and the initiative was abandoned. I don't know what the situation was/is but either way I am sure much could be learned from their experiences and their input would be valuable.

    Goodwill is all good and well at the beginning but soon wears thin when the chips are on the table. If things are in black and white so everyone knows the score from the beggining, I'm sure the result will be a much happier and smoother running group.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Northmead NSW
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    2

    Smile Re: Illabunda Community Biodiesel Project

    Hi all, Jonathan from the Illabunda project here.

    Illabunda is a 5 acre property in suburban Winston Hills which my parents have been living on for the past 50 years. We are now developing it into an eco-village and working towards ecological, social and economic sustainability. Illabunda - Home

    The masterplan includes 18 dwellings, busines centre, community centre, organic food gardens etc, and should be approved by Parramatta City Council next week. After that we pull the DA together. If all goes smoothly the roads and services infrastructure should be in place by mid 2008 and houses will be under construction.

    In the meantime we are holding open days each month and developing the community of people which will end up living at Illabunda.

    There has been considerable interest shown by our visitors in having biodiesel available at Illabunda once the village is established and one of our team currently use BD in their mistubishi van. Availability of biodiesel on site aligns very well with our sustainability objectives.

    We aim to have a feature presentation at each open day and to this end we would like to feature transportation and biofuels/biodiesel at our May open day (Sunday 27th May)

    So a talk about the various biofuels and maybe a demo of making biodiesel at that open day would be excellent if it is possible.

    After that, it would be great if we could set up a plant on the site. I think that all of the comments which have been made in this forum to date are valid but I dont have answers for many of them at this stage and so I am looking to this group for guidance. A few thoughts tho:

    - Illabunda would be happy to fund the project but I dont have a feel for the costs of setting up or running such a project at this stage and so am looking for guidance on this

    - We have power and space available at present

    - The plant would have to be movable so that it could be relocated (elsewhere on the site) when construction work commences and then to its final location when the infrastructure is done

    - Robert and I have talked about building something from scratch rather than buying a competed plant and I expect there would be a lot of interest in this from our Illabunda interest group and the local permaculture group.

    - Ultimately I envisage that someone who lives at Illabunda (or at least in the local area) would operate the plant as a part-time business (as is done at Cystal Waters at Maleny in Queensland)

    - I guess there are many regulatory, safety and evironmental protection issues associated with such a venture which will need to be explored

    - If it all comes together, we would include the plant into our DA for the project, which be put together over the next few months.

  6. #6
    Join Date
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    Re: Illabunda Community Biodiesel Project

    Hi Everyone,

    I've let this one slip for a while now, (being insanely busy with the rest of my life instead ).

    The 28th draws near, which is this Saturday and is the day nominated for anyone interested in this project to meet onsite.

    The idea of this first meeting is simply so we can all get started. There is no agenda set yet, but hopefully we can mix in our thoughts and ideas and by the end of it, we can have some better direction and purpose.

    The time of 2pm has been agreed with Jonathan who will be at Illabunda for the whole day. If this time is not possible for anyone who really needs to make it another time, please speak up now and we'll see what everyone thinks. Otherwise, we'll meet there at 2.

    Hope to see you all there.

    Cheers,

    Robert
    Robert.
    Site Admin.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Villawood, NSW
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    17

    Re: Illabunda Community Biodiesel Project

    And the address is.....

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
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    Re: Illabunda Community Biodiesel Project

    Sorry, it's 16 Buckleys Rd, Winston Hills. It's a bit hard to find that on their website!
    Robert.
    Site Admin.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Bargo NSW
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    311

    Re: Illabunda Community Biodiesel Project

    All the best Guys. Hope someone takes Photos for the rest of us who live South of Sydney to see
    Dave


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    Re: Illabunda Community Biodiesel Project

    Well there were 4 of us who turned up in the end - myself, Robert, Brian from Grimwood Heating and another chap (whose name I can't remember - sorry), who showed us some photos of his amazing large scale processing facility in a 40ft container with multiple IBCs and roadside crash barriers for oil settling/storage!! Not to mention a solar hot water system/heat exchanger to dewater the WVO! Robert took copies of his photos and should be posting them up here some time, for general interest as much as anything else.

    Anyway, we met up with Jonathan and his wife at Illabunda and went through some ideas and considerations - e.g. size, basic design, location, as well as dull but important stuff like ATO compliance, ownership, funding etc.

    We didn't come out of the meeting with much in the way of definitive decisions, but it was a useful first step in helping Jonathan understand a bit more about what it will involve, and I think we now know what he wants from us. In a nutshell he knows very little about biodiesel or setting a plant up, which is precisely why he's asked for our help. He is also so busy with the other goings on at Illabunda he is hoping we can take the lead on this.

    To this end Robert has agreed to look at how it might be run under a co-operative framework, and we are also planning on having regular monthly meetings on site, with whoever can attend turn up. I know there are several people who have offered to help but do not want to get involved in endless talk, but would rather just help in the practical construction activities. But we need to do some planning and organising first, and that will take a bit of time and effort.

    My main concern is that we will lose momentum and support, as it will be too easy to get bogged down in talk about ATO, OH&S, council approvals etc, and people will lose interest before it even gets off the ground.

    Nevertheless I'm hopeful that we can achieve something worthwhile as long as there is a core group of people prepared to do the initial legwork, and once we're ready to start construction I'm sure there will be plenty of volunteers, as that's the fun part!

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