Construction has started on Australia’s first thermal waste-to-energy, with a sod turning ceremony on the facility’s site at Kwinana.
The new facility named Avertas Energy is expected to reduce landfills by processing 400,000 tons of waste, which is equal to one quarter of Perth’s post-recycling rubbish.
Avertas said that diverting waste from landfill is expected to reduce more than 400,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions per annum, equivalent to taking 85,000 cars off the roads in Perth.
Western Australia Premier Mark 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.”
Avertas Energy is designed to generate and export 36MW of green electricity per annum to the local grid, which is adequate to power more than 50,000 households in the area.
The new facility is scheduled to open in 2021, and it already has 20-year waste supply agreements in place with Rivers Regional Council and the City of Kwinana, playing a role in supporting those local governments’ waste management strategies.
Avertas Energy is the preferred supplier of baseload renewable energy for Western Australia and also supports the green energy needs of the Western Australia Local Government Association (WALGA) and its members.
More than 800 jobs are expected to be created during the construction period and more than 60 new full-time positions are created after the facility starts operations.
Avertas Energy CEO Frank Smith said: “This facility represents a significant opportunity to reduce pressure on landfill capacity and create a new and reliable source of green power.
“We are proud to be supporting Western Australia to achieve its waste management and green energy goals, and we are committed to engaging with local communities throughout construction and once the facility is operating.”
Acciona, which is responsible for the construction of the facility, has started engaging with local sub-contractors about opportunities during construction. Once the construction is completed, the Veolia ANZ would operate and maintain the facility for 25 years.
Acciona Geotech Managing Director Bede Noonan said: “We are excited to be building the first thermal waste-to-energy facility in Australia, and proud to be continuing our work in WA. We anticipate this project will contribute to the development of specialist skills in the Western Australian construction industry, creating local opportunities for subcontractors.”