CONSTRUCTION has started on Australia’s first thermal waste to energy facility in Kwinana.
Premier Mark McGowan joined representatives from Avertas Energy, Macquarie Capital and the Dutch Infrastructure Fund, to turn the sod at the site.
The project, co-developed by Macquarie Capital and Phoenix Energy Australia, is expected to create more than 800 jobs during construction and 60 positions once fully operational.
The new facility will thermally treat the waste and convert the recovered energy into steam to produce electricity.
It will divert 400,000 tonnes of residual household, commercial and industrial waste from landfill each year and when fully operational, the facility will export up to 36MW of electricity into the South West Interconnected System, sufficient to power more than 50,000 households.
The facility will produce less greenhouse emissions than if the residual waste used went to landfill.
Funding for the project is provided by Macquarie Capital, Dutch Infrastructure Fund, Clean Energy Finance Corporation, the Australian Renewable Energy Agency and a range of financial institutions.
The facility is expected to be open by the end of 2021.
Mr McGowan said having the country’s first thermal waste to energy facility built in WA demonstrated confidence in our economy and showed WA has the capacity to be at the forefront of new technologies for waste management.
“During construction hundreds of local jobs will be created, which will be a huge boost to the local economy and create more opportunities for local workers across a range of trades,” he said.
“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.”
Alliance for a Clean Energy protesters made their presence known at the sod turning event.
The alliance issued a media statement describing the facility as a highly polluting waste incinerator that will emit ghg’s and toxic air pollutants….delivering increased adverse health and environmental impacts for the next 25 years, especially to the Kwinana community.
“While the EU moves to decommission this industry pursuing instead, a sustainable zero waste and circular economy agenda, WA is headed in the opposite direction,” the statement said.
“Burning our residual waste, which is predominantly single use, non-recyclable plastics, is nothing more than burning fossil fuels.
“WA is already home to the biggest LNG polluting industry in the southern hemisphere.
“There are more jobs in a sustainable zero-waste management system, that supports reuse and recycling sectors and moves us closer to a circular economy.”