28/08/2019 - 15:29

ACCIONA to build $450m energy plant

28/08/2019 - 15:29

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Construction of Perth’s second waste-to-energy plant is scheduled to start later this year after the private consortium behind the East Rockingham project appointed Spanish engineering giant ACCIONA as its main contractor.

ACCIONA to build $450m energy plant
Jason Pugh is the CEO of New Energy.

Construction of Perth’s second waste-to-energy plant is scheduled to start later this year after the private consortium behind the East Rockingham project appointed Spanish engineering giant ACCIONA as its main contractor.

The East Rockingham Resource Recovery Facility will process 300,000 tonnes per year of waste and up to 30,000tpa of biosolids, generating 29 megawatts of renewable energy.

It is being developed by global technology supplier Hitachi Zosen INOVA (HZI), Perth company New Energy Corporation and international investor Tribe Infrastructure Group.

They have awarded ACCIONA an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract for the plant, which is budgeted to cost $450 million.

Under the EPC contract, ACCIONA will deliver the project in partnership with HZI.

The project will create 300 construction jobs and about 50 permanent positions during operation.

New Energy chairman Enzo Gullotti said construction was due commence on site in the fourth quarter of 2019.

“With ACCIONA leading construction, we’ve secured the final piece of the puzzle and look forward to starting construction on site in the coming months,” he said.

Today’s announcement comes five months after construction of Australia’s first waste-to-energy project commenced nearby in Kwinana.

ACCIONA is also the main contractor on that project.

The $700 million Avertas Energy project, owned by Macquarie Capital and Dutch Infrastructure Fund, will process 400,000t of waste annually and export 36MW of electricity to the grid per year.

Together, the two projects provide a substantial boost for ACCIONA’s Australian business, which was already bolstered by the 2017 acquisition of Geotech.

That deal also gave ACCIONA ownership of Coleman Rail, which has been shortlisted this year for two major Metronet projects in Perth.

ACCIONA Geotech managing director Bede Noonan said the East Rockingham facility was another landmark project for Western Australia.

“Energy from waste is gaining traction quickly, and it’s great to see New Energy, Tribe and our EPC partners HZI developing the second large-scale plant here,” he said.

“Not only will we be able to build on the capabilities harnessed for our first project in Perth, but we also get the opportunity to work with industry leader HZI to bring the best available technology to Australia for the first time.”

The Rockingham and Kwinana waste-to-energy projects will greatly reduce the amount of waste sent to landfill.

About 2.3 million tonnes of municipal, commercial and industrial waste – nearly half of all waste generated in the Perth metropolitan area - is sent to landfill each year, according to the Waste Authority of WA’s latest annual report.

Despite this ongoing problem, the state government's waste strategy has ranked the waste-to-energy option as its least preferred waste treatment solution.

Mr Gullotti said the Rockingham project was well aligned with the waste strategy, which specifies that only ‘residual’ waste should go into waste-to-energy projects.

He said the consortium also looked forward to rewarding the bold leadership of the East Metropolitan Regional Council and the City of Cockburn, which had signed long-term waste supply deals.

“They’ve taken action for sustainable, reliable and affordable waste management practices, and in so doing are making WA the nation’s ‘circular economy’ leader,” Mr Gullotti said.

The Rockingham facility will be operated by French company Suez, which operates over 55 waste-to-energy facilities globally.

Funding and ownership details for the Rockingham project have not been disclosed.

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