Australia’s first waste-to-energy plant could be built in Western Australia, using garbage to generate enough electricity to power more than 20,000 homes every year.
WA’s Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has approved the $180 million plant, planned for Boodarie near Port Hedland, as reported by The Australian.
It uses a process called ‘gasification’, which converts gas from decomposing material into heat and power.
The facility would process as much as 100,000 tonnes of rubbish a year, comprised of commercial and industrial waste and household waste from Port Hedland.
It would not process hazardous materials such as medical waste, asbestos, radioactive waste, highly corrosive or toxic liquids, gases or explosives, as reported by The Australian.
EPA chairman Paul Vogel said waste management in the Pilbara had struggled to keep up with the pressure of the mining boom.
“The key components of the Boodarie facility are all proven technologies with examples operating elsewhere, allowing the proposal to meet the EPA’s objective for air quality,” Mr Vogel said.
New Energy Corporation, which supports the plan, said EPA approval was a major milestone.
“We are passionate about delivering our waste to energy solution and providing a world class environmental outcome for the Pilbara,” New Energy Corporation chairman Enzo Gullotti said.
“This project will ensure recycling initiatives can be realised on a large scale, landfill diversion rates will be among the highest in Western Australia and clean renewable power generation is established.”
The ultimate decision on the plant’s future rests with Environment Minister Albert Jacob and could signal the creation of more waste to energy plants across the state.