Waste-to-energy deals closer

18/12/2013 - 10:13

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Western Australians could be using energy converted from municipal solid waste in less than two years if companies proposing waste-to-energy plants achieve their timeframes.

IN TRAIN: New Energy Corporation is planning a $150 million waste-to-energy plant at Rockingham.

Western Australians could be using energy converted from municipal solid waste in less than two years if companies proposing waste-to-energy plants achieve their timeframes.

Both Phoenix Energy and New Energy Corporation have strengthened their respective proposals with the announcement of their first waste supply contracts.

The City of Kwinana has committed to sending its waste to Phoenix Energy’s planned $380 million facility once it is built in Kwinana.

The plant will ultimately be able to process 300,000 tonnes of waste a year, and managing director Peter Dyson told Business News the City of Kwinana’s supply would account for 15 per cent of that.

He said with Phoenix Energy having secured funding for the project, the two final hurdles were gaining approval from the Environmental Protection Authority and sourcing the remaining feedstock required.

Mr Dyson said negotiations were continuing with other metropolitan councils for waste supply, but it was a slow process.

“It’s been a fair journey for waste to energy in Australia – there’s no waste-to-energy plant in Australia currently,” he said.

“It’s taken a fair amount of time (for councils) to do some proper analysis … and it’s the right thing to do.”

Mr Dyson said he was confident the goal of starting construction at the end of next year would be achieved, with operation likely to start in 2016.

The City of Kwinana said the 20-year waste supply agreement would divert 100 per cent of its residential residual waste from landfill, which Mayor Carol Adams said represented a historic decision.

“This is a unique and outstanding opportunity for the City of Kwinana to play a pivotal role in the future of waste management,” she said.

“Not only will it result in significant long-term savings … but it means we will achieve the government’s goal of zero waste to landfill.”

Meanwhile, New Energy Corporation has also announced the signing of its first waste supply agreement.

Perth company Instant Waste Management has agreed to supply residual waste from its materials recovery facility in Bayswater to New Energy’s proposed plant, to be built in East Rockingham at a cost of $150 million.

New Energy general manager Jason Pugh told Business News the contract strengthened the company’s bid for investment, which it was pursuing from a range of private investors including infrastructure-focused equity funds and Australian banks.

New Energy is also progressing a proposal for a facility in Port Hedland, and Mr Pugh said it would be a close-run thing as to which would get off the ground first, but both would be in operation in 2016.

Both the New Energy plants are expected to be able to process around 200,000t of waste per year.

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