REMONDIS withdraws Swanbank EfW plan


REMONDIS Australia has withdrawn a Coordinated Project application to build a $400 million Energy-from-Waste plant at its Swanbank Resource Recovery Precinct after being advised by the Queensland State Government that the project pathway was unsuitable.

In a statement released today, REMONDIS said it remains committed to introducing Energy-from-Waste technology in Queensland, which it said must be an integral component of a sophisticated Queensland circular economy in the future.

REMONDIS first approached the Co-ordinator General about the Swanbank proposal in 2018. The project application was accepted and given Co-ordinated Project Status in June 2020.

Since then, REMONDIS has been waiting for the Co-ordinator General to release Draft Terms of Reference for public comment, a critical step in the assessment and community consultation processes. The Draft Terms of Reference identify social, environmental and other matters including design to be addressed in the project’s Environmental Impact Statement.

REMONDIS has so far invested several million dollars in staff, consultants and technical information to bring Energy-from-Waste technology to Swanbank.

In December 2021 the Queensland Coordinator General informed REMONDIS that its application for approval to construct an Energy-from-Waste facility would be unviable as a Coordinated Project due to a recently updated Temporary Local Planning Instrument blocking new applications for Energy-from-Waste in the Ipswich Region.

REMONDIS said it was made clear that REMONDIS should withdraw from the Swanbank Energy-from-Waste Coordinated Project process by the end of February, or have its application terminated by the government.

REMONDIS has today informed the Queensland Co-ordinator General it is withdrawing its application.

Bjoern Becker, REMONDIS Australia Chief Executive Officer, said the company will keep working with the Queensland Government to identify options to introduce Energy-from-Waste, given that recent government policy has identified Energy-from-Waste as an essential part of modern circular economy.

“The Queensland Government accepted our project for assessment and asked us to follow a rigorous process, including community consultation, which we have done in good faith and with much effort and dedication over a long period,” Becker said.

“It is disappointing that we have been left in limbo for nearly two years due to the stalling of the assessment process, and to then be advised to withdraw our application.

“Our offer is to invest $700 million to supercharge recycling at our Swanbank precinct, including an outlay of $400 million for an Energy-from-Waste facility that would create 200 full-time equivalent jobs in the Ipswich area.

“That would involve creating electricity to power 50,000 homes annually, under processes that work safely and successfully in major cities all over the world including Paris, London, Copenhagen, Cologne, Zurich, Vienna, Palm Beach and Singapore.

“The rest of the world knows that when you embrace Energy-from-Waste technology you all but do away with the dark-age practice of landfill and its potential environmental impacts including land disturbance, odour, methane and leachate discharge.

“We will keep working with the Queensland Government with a view to introducing Energy-from-Waste technology to the state in line with government policy. The benefits can’t be ignored, and Australia is long overdue to embrace this proven technology.”

Becker said Swanbank is an ideal site for such technology given that it is a long-term waste management centre with steady waste streams since 1997. There is also proximity to water (required for producing electricity) and proximity to electrical infrastructure, meaning the produced electricity can be fed directly into the grid.

As global waste management and recycling leader, REMONDIS has more than 30 years’ experience developing Energy from Waste technology around the world. It operates 16 such facilities under strict international standards.

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