VIC EPA approves Laverton WtE plant

The Victorian EPA has granted a works approval for a waste-to-energy (WtE) plant in Laverton North.

The facility, to be developed by Recovered Energy Australia, will process 200,000 tonnes of source-separated residual municipal solid waste each year.

According to an EPA statement, Recovered Energy Australia propose to deliver approximately 15 mega watts of electricity to the grid annually.

“EPA assessed the proposal against all relevant environmental policies and guidelines and looked at any potential environmental and human health impacts that could result from the facility,” the statement reads.

“The works approval is subject to conditions. These conditions include the requirement for an EPA-appointed auditor to review detailed design, and for further EPA consideration prior to finalising detailed plans.”

Conditions also require the facility to achieve an environmental performance equivalent to European standards.

Recovered Energy Australia has also secured a planning permit from Wyndham City Council to construct and operate the proposed facility, seperate from the EPA works approval.

“Once constructed, Recovered Energy Australia will not be able to operate the waste to energy plant until it obtains an EPA licence,” the statement reads.

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Community conference called on Laverton North WtE plant

The Victorian EPA will host a community conference on Recovered Energy Australia’s proposed waste to energy plant in Laverton North.

In June 2019, Recovered Energy Australia submitted a final works approval application to the EPA, as required under section 19B(c) of the Environment Protection Act 1970.

According to an EPA statement, the application proposed developing a waste-to-energy facility with the capacity to process 200,000 tonnes of source separated residual municipal solid waste each year.

“The proposal utilises a modular system of vertical rotary thermal gasifiers, and is classified under legislation as an A08 (waste to energy) and K01 (power station) scheduled premises,” the statement reads.

“Following a public consultation period, EPA received more than 30 submissions on the plan, which proposes to deliver approximately 15 mega watts of electricity to the grid.”

Submissions range from positive, such as support for gasification and renewable power, and negative, such as concerns over waste to energy’s inability to address waste reduction and littering.

“The purpose and agenda of the conference is to enable the EPA to listen to, and better understand, the views and concerns of the community and stakeholders,” the statement reads.

“The community conference, and the independent chair’s report, will form part of EPA’s assessment of the proposal.”

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Recovered Energy Australia submits WtE planning application

Recovered Energy Australia has submitted a planning application to Melbourne’s City of Wyndham to construct a waste to energy plant that would process 200,000 tonnes per annum of residual municipal solid waste.

The company has proposed a site in Laverton North located on industrial zoned land.

The gasification technology will divert more than 97 per cent or 194,000 tonnes of waste that was destined to go to landfill and at the same time recover the energy from the waste. According to Recovered Energy Australia, there will be 11-14 per cent of the waste that is non-organic creating 30,000 tonnes per annum of slag which can be used for clean fill, road base, bricks or tiles.

The next step in the licensing and approval process is to submit an Environment Protection Victoria Works Approval application to show that it meets Victorian operational and environmental standards.

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The company in a statement noted that the gasification technology was selected for its superior environmental performance, its scalability and its ability to be commercially competitive with other waste disposal options. It said that the controlled air and high temperature of the gasifier also creates a process that is unsuited to the production or reformation of unwanted emissions.

The company said the location was selected for its extensive buffer zone and position within an area identified by the Victorian Government as an existing Resource and Recovery Hub of state importance. It also has access to high energy consuming industries that could utilise the renewable power generated.

“It is a fully enclosed building with high speed roller doors and operates under negative air pressure. This ensures no odour from waste or noise is emitted from the plant,” the company stated.

Recovered Energy Australia will be able to service the residual municipal solid waste volumes from three or four councils.