16/01/2020 - 12:43

Abu Dhabi investor backs WA waste project

16/01/2020 - 12:43

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Abu Dhabi investor backs WA waste project
Tribe’s Peter McCreanor (left) and Masdar’s Niall Hannigan at the signing of the joint venture.

A global investment company based in the Middle East has become the fourth equity investor in a $511 million waste-to-energy project that commenced construction at Rockingham this month.

Renewable energy company Masdar has established a joint venture with Tribe Infrastructure Group to acquire a 40 per cent stake in the East Rockingham Resource Recovery Facility.

Masdar is a subsidiary of Mubadala Investment Company, which was established in 2017 as a global investment fund for Abu Dhabi. Mubadala has $US229 billion in assets under management.

Tribe is also based in Abu Dhabi and has been closely involved in the East Rockingham project, as an investor and financial adviser.

The joint venture’s 40 per cent holding will match the contribution made recently by UK-based John Laing Investments, which paid $51.5 million for a 40 per cent stake.

The other equity investors in the project are Swiss company Hitachi Zosen Inova, which is supplying its waste treatment technology for the plant, and Spanish engineering group ACCIONA, which is building the facility.

Tribe executive director Edward Nicholas said his group sold its 33.3 per cent stake in the project into the joint venture with Masdar.

The joint venture acquired the rest of its holding from HZI.

The four equity investors have underpinned development of the project, which was conceived by local company New Energy Corporation.

The project reached financial close just before Christmas and construction commenced this month.

When completed, the facility will process 300,000 tonnes per year of municipal, commercial and industrial waste and generate 29 megawatts of baseload electricity.

It is the second large-scale waste-to-energy project underway in Australia, with both in WA.

Avertas Energy, backed by Macquarie Capital and Dutch investment fund DIF, is building a $700 million facility nearby at Kwinana.

Masdar chief executive Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi said the Australian waste-to-energy sector provided excellent commercial potential in the long-term.

“The problem of dealing with everyday waste is a global challenge, with more than 2 billion tonnes of municipal solid waste generated each year,” he said.

“To this end, we are proud to be helping the state of Western Australia to deliver clean sources of power generation and sustainably manage its municipal solid waste.”

Tribe chief executive Peter McCreanor signalled the two companies were looking to make further investments in Australia.

“This is just the first of numerous such development projects we’re working on, and our partnership with Masdar is an integral part of our strategy for Australia,” Mr McCreanor said.

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