Australia first Thermal WtE Facility reaches Financial Close

Oct 22, 2018

Kwinana Waste to Energy Project - powering an alternative tomorrow

The Kwinana Waste to Energy project will be the first of its kind in Australia, integrating the recovery and reuse of waste with the generation of energy to provide a practical solution to two community challenges: waste disposal and renewable energy supply.

Detailed engineering design for the waste to energy plant, which will have the capacity to produce 36 MW of electricity per annum, is complete. The Facility will use tried and proven moving grate combustion technology. Waste to Energy (Recovery) as a viable, clean and sustainable alternative to landfill disposal, which complements the 3Rs (Reduce, Reuse & Recycling) and is integral to any modern integrated waste management system.

Key points
⎯ 400,000 tonnes of household, commercial, and industrial waste to be diverted from Western Australian landfill per year, equivalent to one quarter of Perth’s post-recycling rubbish
⎯ Consequent reduction of 400,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions per year, equivalent to taking 85,000 cars off the road
⎯ 36MW of reliable baseload energy to be exported to the grid, equivalent to the electricity needs for more than 50,000 households
⎯ Strong support from the Australian and Western Australian Governments through funding and leasing agreements
⎯ Long-term waste supply agreements already in place with a number of local councils allowing for an affordable and sustainable solution for the disposal of household waste
⎯ More than 800 jobs, including apprenticeships, to be created in Western Australia during construction and 60 full-time positions once operational
⎯ Project has been co-developed by Macquarie Capital and Phoenix Energy, with co-investment by Dutch Infrastructure Fund

Background on the Kwinana Waste to Energy Project
The Kwinana Waste to Energy Project is set to change the face of waste management and renewable energy generation in Western Australia, by replacing the current heavy and growing reliance on unpleasant and outdated landfill disposal, to the clean, environmentally proven, sustainable and economically beneficial alternative of Waste to Energy (WtE). With over 1000 similar facilities serving communities around the world, more than 300 of which are operating in Europe and the UK alone, mostly within major urban population centres and under strict environmental standards, it is no surprise that the Environment Protection Authority and the Waste Authority of West Australia have jointly concluded that: “It has been demonstrated internationally that modern waste to energy plants can operate within strict emissions standards with acceptable environmental and health impacts to the community when a plant is well designed and operated using best practice technologies and processes.” (Section 16(e), EPA Report 1468, April 2013).

Located in the heart of the Kwinana Industrial Area, the Kwinana WtE Facility will be designed to process up to 400,000 t/yr of residual (post recycling) Municipal Solid Waste (MSW), using best practice technologies and processes, exporting an estimated 40MW of base load electricity to the grid. That’s enough electricity to provide power to approximately 50,000 households. Once operational, the facility will be eligible for accreditation as a Large Scale Renewable Electricity Generator in accordance with the Federal Renewable Energy (Electricity) Act 2000.

The key objectives of the project include:
▪ Zero waste to landfill – the proposal includes an on-site brick plant as well as the option to reuse ash and grate siftings (typically around 20% by volume of the feedstock) as a construction aggregate, as is common place in Europe, the UK and Japan. About 15,000 tonnes or 4% by volume of metals will also be reused.
▪ Maximising clean electricity generation from the feedstock – Lifecycle greenhouse gas assessments for WtE facilities typically indicate that such facilities actually offer the potential for a net reduction in overall carbon emissions once avoided landfill gas emissions and other offsets (related to replacement of base load fossil fuel fired electricity generation, recovery of recyclable metals and the production of alternative construction materials) are taken into consideration
▪ To provide a national benchmark for sustainable waste management
▪ To provide a long-term, reliable waste management and renewable energy generation service to the community, which is complementary to other waste management practices such as recycling and compositing
▪ To engage with the community and local government to raise awareness and drive improvements in source separation behaviour by households
▪ To provide regional benefits and synergies – the Kwinana WtE project offers the potential for direct use of recovered energy as steam, electricity and recovered solid by-products by manufacturing companies in the Kwinana Industrial Area (leading to enhanced regional energy and job security), with 800 construction jobs to be created and up to 60 full time jobs once operational.

Australia’s first waste to energy facility will commence with the mobilisation of construction crews during October 2018 and be fully operational by the end of 2021.

Acciona has been appointed to design and construct the facility, and a 25-year operations and maintenance service agreement has been signed with Veolia. Veolia currently operates more than 60 waste-to-energy facilities around the world.

With increasing pressure on landfill capacity, and concerted community efforts to reduce landfill levels, waste-to-energy represents a significant opportunity for the generation of affordable green power. The Kwinana facility will use Keppel Seghers moving grate technology, which thermally treats the waste and converts the recovered energy into steam to produce electricity. Metallic materials will be recovered and recycled, while other by-products will be reused as construction materials. Moving grate technology is used in approximately 2,000 facilities globally, with Keppel Seghers providing its technology to more than 100 waste-to-energy plants in 18 countries.
Macquarie Capital has stepped up its involvement in Kwinana Waste to Energy throughout 2017 and has now assumed lead responsibility for final delivery of the $675 million project, including the arrangement of project funding.

The Kwinana Waste to Energy facility will be the first of its kind in Australia and will integrate the disposal of residential (post-recycling) waste with the gross generation of approximately 36MW of energy to provide a real solution to two community challenges - reducing waste disposal and increasing baseload renewable energy supply.

Phoenix Energy has already signed 20-year waste supply agreements with eight Local Governments in the Southern Perth Metropolitan area. This includes the Rivers Regional Council plus the City of Canning, and a separate agreement with the City of Kwinana. Under these agreements the LGAs will supply residential (post-recycling) waste to the plant, which is designed to receive and process up to 400,000 tonnes per annum.

The Kwinana Waste to Energy facility has also been appointed as a Preferred Supplier of baseload renewable energy to Local Governments by the WA Local Government Association (WALGA).

Chairman of Rivers Regional Council, Cr Hon, Fred Riebeling said that whilst it had taken longer than anticipated to reach this point, the confidence shown by members of the Group will ensure that the community will benefit substantially over the long term from this innovative project.

“As well as significantly reducing their reliance on landfill disposal, these LGA’s will be able to make a step change toward achieving Zero Waste Objectives and the State Government’s landfill diversion target. Communities within the Councils providing the waste stream will also benefit from the use of Energy produced by their waste stream.”

Unlike solar and wind generation, waste to energy plants are a unique source of continuous renewable energy, reflecting the fact that every week households are producing material for both recycling and combustion. On average a wheelie bin placed on a verge for collection contains enough waste to produce up to 20% of a household’s weekly power needs.

The Kwinana Waste to Energy project has received development approval and all final environmental approvals required from Western Australian Government agencies to construct the plant

Further Enquires to John McNally CEO Rivers Regional Council
jmcnally@rrc.wa.gov.au

Extra Notes

The Circular Economy

Waste to Energy is recognized as part of the overall solution to achieving the Zero Landfill objectives of the Waste Strategy.

European experience has demonstrated that WtE can play a major role in the reduction of landfill with data from CEWEP (An umbrella organization representing 386 WtE plants across Europe) showing the substantial reduction in landfill over 14 years.

WtE has also had no adverse impact on the recycling efforts.

The following charts also demonstrate the substantial contribution from WtE to the Circular Economy in Europe.

What is the impact this will have on air quality in the immediate surrounds, the broader Perth metro, and specifically will there be any air quality impacts.

There are a number of similar plants around the world some located in the centre of cities and in suburban residential areas which do not raise air quality issues in their surrounds. The community will not experience any adverse air quality as a result of the plant, with the control mechanism being in place to filter and capture toxins and maintain air quality in accordance with the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) Standards. The plant has obtained all the necessary regulatory approvals which include strong conditions on protecting air quality and the environment.

• The Perth City Skyworks (Fireworks) can release up to 4 times more dioxins into the atmosphere then the Kwinana WtE project in one entire year of operation.
• Particulate matter emissions are efficiently removed by the Bag Filter, such that the particulate emissions per hour are equivalent to only 20 motor vehicles (including 1-2 heavy vehicles) travelling along a 3klm stretch of Highway.
• Kwinana WtE has the potential to reduce Greenhouse Gas emissions by the equivalent of ~200,000 cars per annum due to:-
o Biomass content of waste being combusted
o Avoided baseload electricity generation from fossil fuels sources
o Avoided landfill gas emissions (Methane)

The project will maintain air quality in accordance with the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) Standards, which specific EPA air-quality standards met by the exhaust system.

The Public Environmental Review document for the Kwinana WtE Project describes the specific local air quality standards (some specific to the Kwinana Industrial Area air shed) against which the expected emissions were compared, in order for the EPA to recommend that the Minister of the Environment approve that the proposal may be implemented. The PER document can be found at http://www.epa.wa.gov.au/sites/default/files/PER_documentation/Phoenix-Energy-Kwinana-WTE-PER-Document-FINAL.pdf.

Refer to section 10.2.1 Air Quality – Stack Emissions lists the standards, guidelines or procedures utilized by the independent consultant, who undertook the air quality assessment of the Kwinana Project. The Ministerial implementation Statement 1016 includes a condition that the facility is required to meet the European Waste Incineration Directive emission limits for all emissions to the atmosphere (http://www.epa.wa.gov.au/sites/default/files/Ministerial_Statement/Statement%20No.%201016_1.pdf).

The expected life-time carbon and non-carbon emissions to the air and/or atmosphere from the operation of the incinerator

The Public Environmental Review document for the Kwinana WtE Project describes the approach taken to estimate both direct emissions from the fossil fuel derived components within the waste stream, as well as the substantial abatements associated with displacing fossil fuel baseload electricity generation, and avoidance of fugitive landfill gas (methane) emissions.
The PER document can be found at http://www.epa.wa.gov.au/sites/default/files/PER_documentation/Phoenix-Energy-Kwinana-WTE-PER-Document-FINAL.pdf.


Refer to section 10.1.1.6.2 for details of the estimated lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions associated with the Kwinana WtE Project. Non-carbon emissions are discussed in detail in PER section 10.2 Air Quality – Stack Emissions.