EXCLUSIVE: POSSIBLE BUYER? Bio energy company looks at Mossman Mill


David Gardiner


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New life for the old mill? Bio energy firm shows informal interest in Mossman Mill. Picture: Far Northern Milling

The New Year may well bring new life to the Mossman Mill – which remains in limbo after being placed in voluntary administration in November.

The move dealt a major blow to the sugar industry in the region, as permanent closure of the country’s northern-most sugar mill supporting around 140 growers in Douglas and the Tablelands looked imminent.

But Newsport understands that a Brisbane-based company – Helmont Energy – has shown informal interest in the purchase of the businesses including Far Northern Milling that own and run the Mill and its associated ‘bio precinct’ assets and operations.

Helmont Energy’s website says its mission is to “decarbonise the Australian economy by developing and using bioenergy in the agriculture, transport, natural gas and stationary energy sectors.”

The company, which earlier this year was recently merged into its major shareholder – Adelaide-based LCM Energy – with LMS acquiring the remaining 50 per cent of Helmont – is currently developing the ‘Casino Biohub’ in the Northern Rivers area of NSW, a project aimed at turning organic matter into energy. 

“Our projects use a wide variety of organic feedstocks, whether that be food waste, agricultural residues, manure, waste-water or dedicated energy crops,” Helmont’s website says.

“Our projects produce saleable energy which generally accompanies an organic by-product which can be used as fertilizer, soil improver or converted into biomaterials.”

We reached out to Helmont Energy for comment on its possible interest in buying the Mossman Mill, but as at publication, have not heard back from them.

While the company is listed as being Brisbane-based, there are no street addresses or phone numbers displayed on its site, other than some details about its Casino Biohub project and recent merger, as well as profiles of the company’s directors. 

Creditors meeting this month

It’s possible that any proposals such as the Mill being sold to another company might be put to the next creditors’ meeting, scheduled for Friday, December 22. 

In operation since 1896, Mossman Mill crushes cane supplied by about 140 local growers. 

Crushing had typically run for five months from June to November, with the end of its 2023 crushing season formally marked on November 22.

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