Premier of Western Australia Mark McGowan, and Federal Minister for the Environment Melissa Price, have officially ‘turned the sod’ at Australia’s first thermal waste-to-energy facility in Kwinana, Western Australia.
The facility, named Avertas Energy, will use state-of-the-art technology to process 400,000 tonnes of household, commercial and industrial waste each year to significantly reduce carbon dioxide emissions by more than 400,000 tonnes (equivalent to taking 85,000 cars off Perth’s roads).
Once operational in 2021, the facility will generate and export 36 megawatts of baseload electricity to the grid – enough to power over 50,000 households.
Although new to Australia, thermal waste-to-energy has a long track record internationally.
Avertas Energy is implementing moving grate technology which thermally treats waste and converts the recovered energy into steam to produce electricity.
Moving grate technology is currently being used in approximately 2,000 facilities across the globe.
In other countries, waste-to-energy is part of an overall solution for reducing landfill in conjunction with avoiding waste production, recycling and reuse.
Waste managed by Avertas Energy is expected to result in the recovery of metallic materials that can be recycled and by-products that will be reused as construction materials.
Infrastructure company Acciona has been appointed to build the facility.
It is anticipated that more than 800 jobs will be created over the course of the facility’s construction period and over 60 new full-time positions will be available once the facility is operational.
Mr McGowan said Western Australia is at the forefront of new technologies for the management of waste and the reliable generation of new sources of energy.
“Pressure on landfill is a concern for communities around the world and Western Australia is taking a leadership position in Australia by embracing new methods and technologies that can sit alongside other strategies for managing waste over the long term.”
Ms Price added this project means waste that would otherwise go to landfill is converted to energy, reducing carbon dioxide emissions and improving the stability of the grid.
“It also avoids more harmful methane emissions that add to our overall greenhouse gas emissions, and the Federal Government was pleased to support this project with a $23 million grant and up to $90 million in debt finance.”