Sydney’s rubbish to power homes under new plan

Mt Piper Power Station
Mt Piper Power Station

Energy Australia plans to build a waste to energy recovery plant at its Mt Piper Power Station in the Blue Mountains, transforming Sydney’s rubbish to provide a reliable baseload power supply without burning any extra coal.

Mt Piper Power Station is a coal-fired power plant with two steam turbines and a combined generation capacity of 1,400MW. The plant currently provides electricity to 15 per cent of NSW.

Energy Australia head of assets Julian Turecek says the company plans to take non-recyclable waste and use it to generate electricity using a furnace capable of burning 200,000 tonnes of non-recyclable rubbish a year.

According to Mr Turecek, the new furnace and boiler will be build within the existing infrastructure at Mt Piper.

“We believe we’ve got a solution because we’re using an existing facility … so, in a sense, the project’s already half built,” he said.

While Lithgow mayor Stephen Lesslie agrees there could be merit in the plan, he says he’s concerned about potential toxicity of what’s being burnt and the impact of extra trucks on the road.

“Lithgow Council has not been informed or consulted about this at all,” Mr Lesslie told 9News.

“Basically, we’re concerned about being treated as a dumping ground for Sydney’s waste.”

And while Energy Australia says it’s eager to work with the Blue Mountains community, the company doesn’t need council approval because the project is of state significance.

“Project’s such as this need to comply with NSW energy from waste policy, which is among the strictest, the most stringent, in the world,” Mr Turecek said.

“We’re very confident, based on the technology available, that we’ll be able to develop a plant that meets all of the criteria the community would expect.”