We’ve shared some of our most frequently asked questions about waste to energy and the project.
Waste-to-Energy plants use household and commercial waste that could not be prevented or recycled, as a fuel to create steam and electricity. In Perth, the waste will be turned into electricity and fed into the South West Interconnecting System (SWIS).
Construction of the project started in January 2020 and will take 35 months to build and commission. The plant will be fully operational in December of 2022.
Western Australia has adopted European emission standards for all waste to energy projects, which are amongst the most stringent in the world. The plant will adhere to the EU Industrial Emissions Directive (2010/75EC).
The project was formally assessed by the Office of the Environmental Protection Authority under Part IV of the WA EP Act. The project received final Ministerial Approval on February 19th , 2019. The project was then assessed by the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation (DWER) under Part V of the EP Act and received Works Approval on the 23rd July 2019.
Around 2/3rds of the waste for the project will be residual municipal waste from Perth residents. Our foundation council customers are City of Belmont, Shire of Kalamunda, Shire of Mundaring and City of Swan from the East Metropolitan Regional Council and from the City of Cockburn. Suez Australia will supply residual commercial waste after it has been processed at their waste transfer facilities in the Perth metropolitan area.

The project will generate 28.9 MW and operate for 8,000 hours per annum. This is enough electricity to power 36,000 Perth homes. According to Australian legislation the biodegradable fraction of municipal and commercial waste is considered biomass, thus a renewable energy source. It is expected around 50% of the energy generated from the waste will be renewable.

After combustion, the volume of waste is reduced by 90%, leaving an inert ash containing metals. This ash called IBA weighs 15-20% of the original waste volume. The ERWTE project has invested $10m in an onsite IBA treatment plant. This state-of-the-art facility will recover metals from the ash and produce a clean recycled aggregate that can be used as a replacement to raw aggregates in local markets. The flue gas treatment process generates a small amount of residual waste that will be disposed of at an appropriately licensed landfill.

 

IBAA has been an accepted and widely used sustainable aggregate both in the UK and in Europe for many years. Over five million tonnes has been used as sub-base and capping material in numerous applications over that 10 year period. ERWTE is partnering with Curtin University to research the best IBAA reuse opportunities for local Perth markets

Countries that have high penetration of waste to energy also achieve very high recycling rates. The East Rockingham project has entered into “waste arising” contracts with all our councils, which means they only deliver waste after reuse, recovery and recycling efforts have been expended. This ensures the plant only operates on residual waste streams and councils are not penalised for reducing residual waste volumes. This ensures the plant only operates on residual waste streams. Waste to energy also plays an important role in producing clean recyclables. The process provides a sink for materials that cannot be recycled or are too contaminated to be recycled.

“People working together in a strong community with a shared goal and a common purpose can make the impossible possible.” ​

- Tom Vilsack

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