The Kwinana Waste to Energy project will be a leader in integrating the disposal of waste with the generation of energy to provide a practical solution to two community challenges: the disposal of significant quantities of household rubbish and establishing additional (baseload) renewable energy supplies for the community.
Detailed engineering design for the waste to energy plant, which will have the capacity to produce 32 MW of electricity per annum, is nearly complete. The facility will rely on tried and tested technology that is in use in many other developed nations.
Phoenix Energy is a strong advocate for modern Waste to Energy (also known as Energy from Waste) facilities that use best practice technologies and processes to provide a viable, clean and sustainable alternative to landfill disposal.
Waste to Energy can act as an essential and integral part of a larger urban waste management strategy and system because it complements the 3Rs (Reduce, Reuse & Recycling).
The Kwinana Waste to Energy Project will change the face of waste management and renewable energy generation in Western Australia by replacing the growing reliance on unpleasant and expensive landfill disposal, with a clean, environmentally proven, sustainable waste to energy process.
There are more than 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.
The Western Australian Government’s Environment Protection Authority (EPA) and its Waste Authority 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 (KIA), the 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, and then exporting 32MW of base load electricity to the grid.
The vast majority of MSW is general household waste that would otherwise be sent for disposal at landfills on the outskirts of the growing metropolitan area, with most waste transported by road. No waste loads classified as either hazardous or controlled waste will be accepted into the Kwinana Waste to Energy facility.
The 32MW of base load electricity is sufficient to provide power to approximately 65,000 households within Perth.
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.
Once fully commissioned, the facility will not only process all residential waste for energy recovery, it will produce ash by-products which are commonly used internationally as alternative construction materials, and recycle over 6000 tonnes per year of metals not normally recovered by other means.
The Kwinana Waste to Energy Project has several key objectives, including:
- Zero waste to landfill – the project will develop reuse markets for ash (typically around 10% by volume of the feedstock) e.g. as a construction aggregate, as is common place in Europe, the UK and Japan. It will also recover metals.
- Maximising clean electricity generation from the feedstock – lifecycle greenhouse gas assessments typically indicate that waste to energy facilities offer the potential for a net reduction in overall carbon emissions once the reductions in 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, informs and encourages 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 Waste to Energy 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, Henderson and Fremantle Port zones. This will help enhance regional energy supply and job security. There will be several hundred construction jobs created and up to 60 full-time jobs once the facility is operational.