Australia to get first energy-from-waste plant


In an Australian first, an energy-from-waste plant will be built in Western Australia that will reduce waste going into landfill and deliver enough power to supply 50,000 households.

The $668 million facility will be located in the Kwinana industrial area 40km south of Perth and will divert up to 400,000 tonnes of municipal solid waste from non-recyclable curbside collection, delivering 36MW of baseload electricity capacity.

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has pledged $23 million in funding to develop the project alongside Macquarie Capital and Phoenix energy Australia.

The plant will also be capable of processing commercial and industrial waste and construction and demolition waste.

The waste will be sourced from a range of sources including local councils in the Perth metropolitan area.

Related article: Closed landfill site in US becomes largest solar plant

The project has the ability to generate large-scale generation certificates (LGCs) for eligible feedstock in accordance with Clean Energy Regulator requirements.

The project has approval from the WA Environmental Protection Authority. The facility will produce an ash by-product that is commonly used as road base or in building and construction in Europe.

The project will use Keppel Seghers moving grate technology, which has not been previously used in Australia. This technology is used in more than 2000 facilities globally, with Keppel Seghers technology to more than 100 waste-to-energy plants in 18 countries.

The Kwinana energy-from-waste facility will be owned by a consortium including Macquarie and the Dutch Infrastructure Fund (DIF). The Clean Energy Finance Corporation is also committing up to $90 million in debt finance towards the project.

The project will be built by Acciona and will be operated by Veolia.

The project is expected to generate more than 800 jobs during construction and 60 full-time jobs once operational.

Construction is expected to commence this month and is expected to be completed by the end of 2021.

Related article: ARENA announces Australia’s first business renewables centre

Energy from waste developments present an opportunity to source baseload electricity from a low emissions intensity source, while addressing waste management issues.

ARENA CEO Darren Miller said the project provides a renewable energy solution for reducing waste going to landfill.

“The use of combustion grate technology is well established in Europe and North America but has not yet been deployed in Australia,” he said.

“More than 23 million tonnes of municipal solid waste is produced annually in Australia and this project could help to divert non-recyclable waste from landfill and recover energy in the process.”