World-leading German waste-to-energy company REMONDIS has announced plans to build a $400 million energy-from-waste (EfW) facility in Swanbank, south of Ipswich.
Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning Cameron Dick welcomed the news and said it establishes Queensland as a major player in the waste‑to‑energy market.
“The proposed plant will convert between 300,000 and 500,000 tonnes of waste per year to generate up to 50 megawatts of baseload electricity for Queensland households and businesses,” he said.
“This project could create up to 200 jobs during construction and some 70 jobs during operations.
“The introduction of our government’s waste levy provides a real incentive for projects like this, building a new industry as an alternative to landfill.
“This announcement follows the Palaszczuk Government’s commitment of $100 million to the Resource Recovery Industry Development Program, which further attracts resource recovery operations that will divert waste from landfill toward more valuable uses.
“The program is part of our government’s comprehensive waste management strategy, and furthers our aim to make Queensland a world leader in projects involving resource recovery, recycling and the re-manufacturing of materials to turn waste to energy.”
Energy Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said the 50 megawatts of baseload power the project could generate would be enough to power up to 50,000 homes, equivalent to a city similar in size to Cairns.
“This is an innovative renewable energy project that joins our $4.3 billion pipeline of renewable projects financially committed or underway,” he said.
“Queensland is on target for the Palaszczuk Government’s 50 per cent renewable energy by 2030 target, in our managed transition to a renewable future.”
General manager for REMONDIS Queensland Bret Collins said the company has been encouraged by recent comments from governments across Australia that EfW technology could provide some relief to the challenges facing the waste management and recycling industry.
“REMONDIS has 24 years’ experience in building and operating world’s best practice EfW technologies and is the second largest operator of energy-from-waste plants in Europe. Our 52 facilities recover energy from more than 4.2 million tonnes of waste per annum and we trade our own electricity into the European grid,” Mr Collins said.
“There is an opportunity for Australia to benefit from REMONDIS’ global experience, and other successful European and UK facilities, and incorporate energy-from-waste as part of the solution to sustainable, best practice waste management.
“Adopting EfW technology will ensure that wastes with recoverable value are not sent to landfill and, instead, are put to beneficial use.”
Member for Ipswich Jennifer Howard said, “Building the waste to energy industry is important for Ipswich because it generates jobs and provides opportunities for our community.
“The scale of this project and the benefits it can potentially deliver for Ipswich residents as far as generating power for Queensland homes while reducing landfill and creating local jobs demonstrates just how valuable growing this industry is for our area.”
Mr Dick said REMONDIS Australia is expected to submit an application to Queensland’s independent Coordinator-General to declare the project a ‘coordinated project’.
“If the Coordinator-General decides to declare this project a coordinated project it will help streamline approvals and fast-track delivery of this significant project,” he said.
“A coordinated project approach also means that all the potential impacts and benefits of the project are considered in an integrated and comprehensive manner.”
Subject to receiving all approvals from government, it is expected the project would begin construction in 2020.
REMONDIS facilities worldwide are designed to meet the highest environmental standards, as dictated by the European emissions standards and their equivalent Australian requirements.
If approved, the Swanbank facility will incorporate a variety of proven technologies and processes which will enable REMONDIS to meet the strict environmental standards required by licences and approval conditions.