East Rockingham Waste to Energy facility recommended for approval

Release date: 
June 16, 2014

A new Waste-to-Energy facility which aims to produce enough electricity to power 23,000 south-west homes each year has been recommended for conditional approval, the Environmental Protection Authority announced today.

New Energy Corporation proposes to build and operate a Waste to Energy and Materials Recovery Facility in the Kwinana Industrial Area, with the facility accepting up to 225,000 tonnes of waste each year, which equates to 13 per cent of waste which would otherwise have been sent to landfill.

The facility, which will consist of four operational gasification chambers and one set aside for maintenance, is expected to produce up to18.5MW of electricity, of which 2.5MW would be used to power the plant and 16MW would feed into the South West Interconnected System.

A proportion of the waste would be recovered for recycling and waste deemed unsuitable for combustion will be disposed of offsite.

EPA Chairman Paul Vogel said a comprehensive and independent review conducted by the EPA and Waste Authority into waste to energy facilities internationally found that state-of-the-art plants could operate within strict international emissions standards.

“The EPA and Waste Authority’s advice provided to the Minister for Environment last year clearly outlines that in assessing any waste to energy proposal, proponents must demonstrate that the technology components have a track record in waste treatment and are capable of meeting best practice in emissions standards,” Dr Vogel said.

Dr Vogel said the New Energy proposal could meet the EPA’s objective for Air Quality subject to several conditions, including implementing a Waste Acceptance Monitoring Plan, which will describe the type and amount of waste accepted at the facility, identify the supplier of each waste load as well as record the waste type which was fed into the gasifiers or disposed of off-site.

Dr Vogel said materials permitted to be processed at the facility included Construction and Demolition waste, Commercial and Industrial waste, Municipal Solid Waste and green waste.

Hazardous materials including waste from medical and radioactive sources, asbestos, tyres, contaminated soils and explosive materials will not be permitted.

Dr Vogel said the EPA considered air emissions were most appropriately managed via a Works Approval and Operating Licence from the Department of Environment Regulation to ensure a rigorous and staged commissioning process.

The EPA’s report to the Minister for Environment is now open for a two-week public appeal period, closing June 30, 2014. Appeals can be made at www.appealsconvenor.wa.gov.au

The Minister for Environment will make the final decision.

EPA Report 1513 and the EPA’s Strategic Advice on the Environmental and health performance of waste to energy technologies are available at www.epa.wa.gov.au

Media Contact: Nadia Miraudo 0400 866 450

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