Australian Paper has partnered with SUEZ to develop the $600 million Maryvale Mill waste to energy (WtE) project following the successful completion of its feasibility study.
The $7.5 million study was co-funded with the Federal and Victorian Governments.
Australian Paper will now partner with SUEZ to secure the long-term access to waste required to power the facility.
Australian Paper’s study examined the technical, social, environmental, and commercial feasibility of establishing an WtE facility at Maryvale.
The 18 month study found the facility would operate at a high efficiency of 58 per cent due to the mill’s need for baseload steam and electricity all year round. It would also divert approximately 650,000 tonnes of residual waste from Melbourne and Gippsland landfill, saving 543,000 tonnes of carbon emissions per annum. The new facility would allow the return of up to four Petajoules of natural gas per annum and 30 megawatt-hour per hour of electricity to Victoria’s retail energy market.
Australian Paper Chief Operating Officer Peter Williams said the company is committed to its mission of sustainable growth for the next generation.
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“As the largest industrial user of natural gas in Victoria and a significant energy consumer, we must develop alternative baseload energy sources to maintain our future competitiveness,” Mr Williams said.
“Creating energy from waste is a perfect fit with our operations, because in addition to electricity we require significant quantities of thermal energy to generate steam. A WtE facility at Maryvale would secure ongoing investment at the site, support employment growth in the Latrobe Valley and also provide the missing link in Victoria’s waste management infrastructure,” Mr Williams said.
A recent economic impact study from Western Research Institute has confirmed that the WtE facility would support an average of 1046 Victorian jobs per annum during the three year construction period and more than 900 when operational.
Australian Paper and SUEZ will seek to finalise waste supply arrangements for the project by 2020. Construction of the WtE facility is planned to begin soon after with completion expected in 2024.
Environment Protection Authority Victoria granted Australian Paper a works approval to develop a large-scale, WtE facility in Victoria at the end of 2018. The facility is proposed to be co-located within the boundaries of the Australian Paper site in Maryvale, Latrobe Valley and process residual municipal solid waste, and industrial and commercial waste.