Australia’s first waste-to-energy plant gets financial close in WA

Construction of Australia’s first ‘waste-to-energy plant is set to go ahead in Western Australia, after winning the backing of the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) and the Clean Energy Finance Corp (CEFC).

The AUS$668 million project, which had already gained approval by the WA Environmental Protection Agency, has now reached financial close after securing $23 million from ARENA and up to $90 million in debt finance from CEFC.

Once completed, the facility will convert up to 400,000 tonnes of non-recyclable waste into 36MW of baseload electricity, enough to power 50,000 households according to ARENA.

Located in the Kwinana Industrial Area 40 km South of Perth, the facility is being co-developed by Macquarie Capital and Phoenix Energy Australia and is owned by a consortium including Macquarie and the Dutch Infrastructure Fund (DIF).

Construction is likely to begin this month before being completed by the end of 2021. The project is expected to generate more than 800 jobs during construction and 60 full-time jobs once operational.

The ‘moving grate’ technology behind the plant has been developed by Belgian company Keppel Seghers and has been utilised in 100 waste-to-energy plants in 18 countries.

“The use of combustion grate technology is well established in Europe and North America but has not yet been deployed in Australia,” said ARENA CEO Darren Miller.

“More than 23 million tonnes of municipal solid waste is produced annually in Australia and this project could help to divert non-recyclable waste from landfill and recover energy in the process.”