City of Kwinana and Phoenix Energy sign historic Waste Supply Agreement
The City of Kwinana (WA) and Phoenix Energy Australia Pty Ltd are pleased to announce that they have agreed to enter into a 20 year Waste Supply Agreement for the supply of residential residual waste to the proposed $380million, Kwinana Waste to Energy facility.
This contract, the first of its kind in Australia, will ensure that the City of Kwinana will be able to divert 100% of its residential residual waste from Landfill; achieve significant reductions in carbon emissions and produce the equivalent (renewable) energy to meet the needs of over 15% of its residents. Please go to Press Releases for details of the Media Release.
Phoenix Energy’s flagship Kwinana Waste to Energy project has featured in an ABC1 7.30 Western Australia report. For further details and a link to the segment please see Phoenix Energy in the News (below) and the headline Could waste soon power your home?
Phoenix Energy has established a new office at the site of its flagship waste-to-energy project in the Kwinana Industrial Area, Western Australia. Please go to Contact us for details of the new office address.
Phoenix Energy in the News
WA Government Publication – Energising WA [Published Friday 28 March 2014]
Plant to help drive zero waste goal a valuable renewable addition Australia’s first long-term waste supply agreement to process municipal solid waste for the recovery of energy was inked in December last year, a significant move for the waste to energy (WtE) industry.
The 20-year agreement was made between WtE project developer Phoenix Energy and the City of Kwinana for the supply of residential residual waste to the proposed $380 million Kwinana Waste to Energy facility, which is expected to commence construction at the end of next year and begin operation in late 2016.
Once fully commissioned, the plant will convert all residential residual waste into energy, bricks (from ash by-products), and recycle over 6000 tonnes per year of metals not normally recovered by other means.
Phoenix Energy Managing Director Peter Dyson said WtE was a valuable addition to the renewable energy mix due to its steady, predictable energy outcomes.
“I see more and more local communities now asking their local members and councils ‘why not’ rather than ‘why should we’.”
Kwinana to burn all rubbish for power A new $380 million waste-to-energy facility planned for Kwinana will divert all of the area’s residential waste from landfill. In the first contract of its kind in Australia, the City of Kwinana and Phoenix Energy Australia have entered into a 20-year waste supply agreement for the proposed Kwinana Waste to Energy facility. See full article here.
ABC1 7.30 Western Australia
Could waste soon power your home? This is the question posed by an ABC1 7:30 Western Australia report segment by ABC WA state political journalist Oliver Peterson, which went to air on Friday 12 July 2013. Phoenix Energy’s Managing Director, Mr Peter Dyson, and the Kwinana Waste to Energy Project were featured in the report. To watch the segment, please click here.
In the segment, 7:30 WA sought comment from several groups including Ms Jane Bremmer of the National Toxics Network. Ms Bremmer made a number of comments and raised a number of concerns about Waste to Energy of the type that get aired from time to time by those who have not had the opportunity to review the practices and procedures of modern Waste to Energy plants. We therefore thought it useful to provide our responses to each comment and concern below.
Responses to concerns and comments of Ms Jane Bremmer (National Toxics Network)
JB Comment: Waste to Energy is just incineration re-branded.
PE Response: Waste to Energy (or Energy from Waste) is a phrase used to represent a number of (primarily) thermal waste treatment technologies which are purpose built to recover energy (and other resources) from waste, as distinct from incineration, which is simply the thermal treatment of waste (e.g. hazardous wastes) to minimise its toxicity prior to landfill disposal. Since the established waste hierarchy institutes that energy recovery is preferred over disposal to landfill, modern WtE plants seek to maximise the recovery of energy from waste, while simultaneously minimising (if not eliminating) the volume of waste requiring disposal to landfill. Further background information distinguishing modern thermal WtE plants from old Incinerators can be found in the EPA of WA advice to the Minister for Environment (to view the EPA WA publication click here).
JB Comment: Waste to Energy is not a renewable resource (as quoted by ABC reporter Oliver Peterson).
PE Response: From the Australian federal government’s Renewable Energy (Electricity) Act 2000 Section 17 What is an eligible renewable energy source? (1) The following energy sources are eligible renewable energy sources: (q) biomass-based components of municipal solid waste. This regulatory setting is similar to that adopted by the US, the members of the European Union, Japan and other countries, though some States in the US have laws stating that all MSW (i.e. not just the biomass fraction) can be considered a renewable resource for renewable energy generation purposes.
JB Comment: Air emissions, public health and environmental impacts….
PE Response: Concerns about potential air emissions and public health and environmental impacts are typical of any combustion process. However, when comparing the combustion of mixed waste fuels such as Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) to the combustion of fossil fuels (oil, natural gas and coal), the regulatory requirements associated with the performance and operation of WtE plants are more stringent than for fossil fuel type combustion processes. As a result, emissions from WtE plants are some of the most heavily regulated and scrutinised emissions from energy generation processes in the world.
Because a significant portion of the typical feedstock (i.e. MSW) is often biomass based and is being diverted away from landfill, WtE can significantly reduce Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions by reducing fugitive landfill gas emissions (i.e. methane), while simultaneously generating renewable energy, which would otherwise require the production and combustion of fossil fuels. Please refer to the section entitled Greenhouse gases on page 21 of the EPA WA advice to the Minister of Environment for confirmation of this assessment (to view the EPA WA publication click here).
In its second major conclusion from its Advice to the Minister for Environment, the EPA 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.” (to view the EPA WA publication click here and search for “Conclusion 2“)
JB Comment: Economic risks in terms of securing waste streams and local governments being locked into contracts.
PE Response: As with any major energy project, fossil fuel based or renewable, in order to secure project financing, long-term feedstock (fuel) and output (energy offtake) agreements must be in place. Acknowledging the potential risks to both the project owner and the community, the EPA and the WA Waste Authority have recommended that: “Recommendation 6 Waste to energy operators should not rely on a single residual waste stream over the longer term because it may undermine future recovery options.” (to view the EPA WA publication click here). Indeed, this issue was an important focus of the 7.30 Report segment on Waste to Energy in WA and one of the key issues in securing private sector financing for these critical State infrastructure projects.
JB Comment: It (Waste to Energy) does not do anything to reduce the volumes of waste, which is the core issue. It undermines recycling and does not inspire people to reduce their waste.
PE Response: WtE plants target the residual waste e.g. the general household waste bin, where a separate recyclables collection service (and green waste service for a 3 bin collection system) is available to the householder. In its first major conclusion from its Advice to the Minister for Environment, the EPA concluded that “Waste to energy plants have the potential to offer an alternative to landfill for the disposal of non-recyclable wastes, with the additional benefit of the immediate capture of stored energy.” (to view the EPA WA publication click here and search for “Conclusion 1“)
In fact studies in the US (please click here to view one example) as well as actual data from Europe show that recycling rates are typically highest in those States or Countries with waste to energy facilities integrated into their waste management systems. The data shows that the European leaders in eliminating landfill through the integration of WtE into their waste management systems i.e. Denmark, Netherlands, Belgium, Sweden, Austria and Germany, also have the highest rates of recycling in the EU (as a percentage of total waste managed, please click here to view). As demonstrated overseas, WtE plants are typically part of a holistic waste education process, with regular WtE plant tours being used by local municipalities to help promote the 4Rs (Reduce, Resuse, Recycle and Recovery). By educating the community about what happens to their residual (non-recyclable) waste, attitudes towards waste generation and recycling are being positively impacted in hundreds of communities around the world.
JB Comment: The proper due diligence has not been completed, nor have environment impact studies.
PE Response: While an independent study conducted by the WA Waste Authority and the EPA “has found Waste to Energy plants can be introduced in Western Australia in an environmentally acceptable manner” and furthermore, “Only proven technology components should be accepted for commercially operating waste to energy plants” (please click here to view), each project is assessed on its merits and its potential environmental impacts (as determined from comparable reference plants, which have operated for more than 12 months). The EPA has determined that the Kwinana WtE project shall be subject to a full and formal Public Environmental Review (PER). As such, the project is currently progressing the environmental impact studies as required by the PER process.
JB Comment: Burning our waste is a nasty, dirty, easy solution to our waste problems, and it doesn’t – it undermines recycling, it doesn’t inspire people to reduce their waste.
PE Response: While most of the issues raised in this comment have been addressed in the above responses, suffice to say that the ~1000 or so communities around the world (primarily in the most developed countries), which are currently served by a local Waste to Energy plant are now benefiting from base load clean renewable energy, in the form of electricity and, in some cases, hot water, from the conversion of residual waste into energy. Meanwhile, almost every community in Australia is still reliant on landfill disposal and intermittent wind and solar electricity generation for much of our renewable energy. The WA EPA and the WA Waste Authority agree that WtE can indeed “play an important role alongside other waste management options to achieve waste strategy targets and minimise environmental impacts.” (please click here to view WA Waste Authority Position Statement, May 2013)
In My Community Magazine reports on Phoenix’s Energy’s Kwinana Plant.
Waste to energy plan The developers of a $350 million waste plant set to be built in Kwinana say it could convert up to 300,000 tonnes of rubbish into energy by 2016. The Kwinana Waste to Energy Plant being developed by Phoenix Energy aims to turn non-recyclable waste into energy, with the by-product turned into bricks.
Managing director Peter Dyson said the facility, to be built on 3.5ha of land in Kwinana, could turn 300,000 tonnes of waste into energy put back into the power grid per year. He said the plant could produce 60 megawatts of energy at full capacity.
Mr Dyson said Australia created 44 million tonnes of solid waste between 2006 and 2007, half of which went into landfill. “No waste goes into landfill from this facility,” he said.
“The waste is turned into energy and the by-product, ash, is created into bricks. About 20,000 bricks could be made each day.” See full article here.
The West Australian reports on Phoenix Energy’s waste to energy plant at Kwinana
In an article entitled Rubbish could power homes, The West Australian has reported that Phoenix Energy has submitted a Referral to the Environment Protection Authority, in relation to a proposed 300,000 tpd waste to energy plant at Kwinana outside Perth. The article quotes John Holland Chairman, Janet Holmes a Court: “I believe it is important each of us do our bit in moving Australia towards a more sustainable society,” she said in a cover letter for the referral. “Treating waste as a resource, as it is already in many other countries, improves the environment we all live in.”
“The Kwinana waste-to-energy project will provide Perth with a valuable service through a facility that is equal to, or better than, the best in the world.” See full article here.
John Holland and Phoenix Energy are collaborating on the project (see Press Releases).
In My Community Magazine reports on Phoenix’s Energy’s Kwinana Plant.
Waste to Energy Plan Phoenix Energy Managing Director, Peter Dyson, presented at the Kwinana Communities and Industries Forum, outlining the Kwinana Waste to Energy project, which will help reduce the region’s reliance on landfill. Mr Dyson said the company was ready to form a community consultative committee to guide the project. See full article here. Go to Contact us to register your interest in being involved in the Kwinana WTE Community Advisory Group.
Phoenix Energy is finalising plans for a $300 million to $400 million 80MW plant in the Kwinana Industrial Area. Article below:
BEN Reports on Phoenix Energy’s waste to energy plant at Kwinana and quotes Peter Dyson.
Phoenix Energy said that the financial analysis for its proposed waste to energy plant at Kwinana outside Perth will be completed by the end of October. See full article here
The Science Network Western Australia reports: “Australia’s first major thermal waste-to-energy plant to be housed in Kwinana”
LOCAL councils are being asked to consider sending household waste to what would be Australia’s first major thermal waste-to-energy (W2E) plant in Kwinana. See full article here:
Weekend Courier reports: “Waste energy plant raises hopes of creating 1000 jobs”
CONSTRUCTION of a $300-$400 million waste-to-energy plant in Kwinana could begin in just over a year and create up to 1000 jobs during the build, according to the energy company behind the unique project. See full article here:
Weekend Courier reports: “Waste Power Pitched”
Phoenix Energy wants to build a $400 million 80-megawatt incinerator in the Kwinana Industrial Area, aiming to process up to double the waste of the Rockingham plant. See full article here:
Australian Resource Focus reports: “Where there’s Muck?”
…There’s brass. Any of you with ancestors from Yorkshire will recognise that expression. And, says Peter Dyson of Phoenix Energy Australia, it really is true. For example, the garbage in the bin outside your home can provide 14 percent of your electricity needs. Municipal solid waste (MSW) is an energy resource so far ignored in Australia that could be a win-win solution to much of the nation’s energy and emission-reduction needs. It’s carbon tax time, don’t forget. See full article here