Change in technology for Waste to Energy facility given conditional approval

Release date: 
22 October 2018

The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has recommended conditional approval for New Energy Corporation Pty Ltd to change the technology proposed for its East Rockingham Waste to Energy (WtE) facility.

In making the recommendation EPA Chair Dr Tom Hatton said changing the technology from a gasification process to a combustion process, which is widely used around the world, did not bring any further risks to the surrounding environment or communities.

“New Energy Corporation proposes to use the Hitachi Zosen Inova Grate Combustion technology in its East Rockingham facility, which has been tried and tested in more than 500 plants around the world,” Dr Hatton said.

“While the gasification technology originally proposed for the facility was also deemed to be acceptable by the EPA, the combustion technology has been used in a number of facilities of a similar scale, and we have determined it does not pose any additional risks to the surrounding environment and community.”

Western Australia currently has four approved WtE facilities, but none are in operation.

The Hitachi Zosen Inova Grate Combustion technology allows for a greater waste throughput at the East Rockingham facility, from 225,000 tonnes per annum (tpa) to 300,000 tpa and will generate more electricity.

The EPA had also recommended strict new conditions for the proposal, which will ensure only residual waste is accepted and processed at the WtE facility, which is consistent with the State’s waste hierarchy.

“The new conditions include measures for ongoing monitoring of the waste feedstocks supplied and processed, making sure waste that is not permitted for processing is not accepted by the facility,” Dr Hatton said.  

Under the new conditions, WtE proponents will be required to develop and submit a Waste Acceptance System Plan and a Waste Acceptance Monitoring and Management Plan, that identifies the suppliers of waste, describes the types of waste, waste loads and quantities accepted.

In its Report 1623, released on 19th October 2018 , the EPA has defined ‘residual waste’ as Waste that remains after the application of a best practice source separation process and recycling systems, consistent with the waste hierarchy as described in Section 5 of the Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Act 2007 (WARR Act), and the Waste Strategy approved or revised from time to time under the WARR Act.”

The EPA’s Report 1624 to the Minister for Environment is now open for a two-week public appeal period, closing Monday 5 November 2018. Appeals can be made at www.appealsconvenor.wa.gov.au

The Minister for Environment will make the final decision. EPA Report 1624 is available at www.epa.wa.gov.au

EPA Media Contact: Vivienne Ryan 0400 866 450

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