08/03/2019 - 15:02

Work starts on $700m Kwinana waste facility

08/03/2019 - 15:02

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Construction has commenced on Australia’s first thermal waste-to-energy facility, located in Kwinana, which is expected to lead to 860 jobs.

Work starts on $700m Kwinana waste facility
The state government says more than 800 jobs will be created to construct the facility.

Construction has commenced on Australia’s first thermal waste-to-energy facility, located in Kwinana, which is expected to lead to 860 jobs.

The Avertas Energy plant will process 400,000 tonnes of waste that currently goes to landfill, reducing carbon dioxide emissions by the equivalent of taking 85,000 cars off Perth’s roads.

In addition, it will generate and export 36 megawatts of electricity to the grid per year, sufficient to power more than 50,000 households.

Avertas Energy is a co-development between Macquarie Capital and Phoenix Energy, and is owned by Macquarie Capital and Dutch Infrastructure Fund.

Chief executive Frank Smith said today the overall cost of the project was now estimated to be $700 million.

About 800 jobs will be created over the course of the three-year construction period and more than 60 new full-time positions once the facility is operating.

Avertas is one of two waste-to-energy projects set for Western Australia.

Coincidentally, local company New Energy Corporation passed another milestone today, with a development assessment panel approving plans for its plant at East Rockingham.

The two projects are progressing despite the state government's waste strategy describing waste-to-energy as its least preferred waste treatment option.

However, Premier Mark McGowan was fulsome in his praise today.

“The state government has supported this project every step of the way, over many years, to ensure it became a reality," Mr McGowan told Business News.

"We are proud to have the country’s first thermal waste-to-energy facility here in WA.

"This is one of those projects that ticks all the right boxes; it creates jobs for local workers, reduces landfill and generates energy that can be used to power our homes."

The premier said the government's first priority was to reduce the amount of waste generated in WA, and to recycle as much waste as possible.

"Only residual waste will be processed through waste to energy," he said.

“We have made it clear that sending residual waste to waste to energy is preferable to landfilling, and that it will contribute significantly to us meeting our ambitious targets."

Environment Minister Melissa Price said the Aventas project would reduce carbon dioxide emissions and improve the stability of the grid.

“The federal government was pleased to support this project with a $23 million grant and up to $90 million in debt finance,” she said.

Mr Smith said the facility represented a significant opportunity to reduce pressure on landfill capacity and create a new and reliable source of green power.

He also expressed support for the government's waste strategy.

"We're very confident there is going to be enough residual waste to supply the project," Mr Smith said.

The facility is scheduled to open in 2021.

Enginering group ACCIONA has been contracted to build the facility, and has begun engaging with local sub-contractors about opportunities during construction.

Post-construction, waste management company Veolia will operate and maintain the facility for 25 years.

The project is underpinned by 20-year waste supply agreements with members of the Rivers Regional Council and the City of Kwinana

Mr Smith said Aventas was looking to sign further waste supply agreements, covering minucipal, industrial and other waste streams.

 

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