A new resource recovery facility at Wetherill Park in western Sydney is transforming commercial and industrial waste into an alternative renewable fuel source. The plant, co-owned by waste sector leaders Cleanaway and ResourceCo, was officially opened today by Minister for the Environment and Energy, the Hon Josh Frydenberg.
Cleanaway recently acquired a 50 per cent equity stake in the ResourceCo plant, which is producing Processed Engineered Fuel (PEF). The CEFC had earlier committed $30 million in debt finance to support development of ResourceCo’s Sydney plant, as well as an additional plant at a second Australian location still to be identified.
CEFC CEO Ian Learmonth said: “The priority in managing our waste must be to reduce the amount of waste we produce in the first place. With what remains, we need to invest in proven technologies to repurpose it, including as alternative fuels. By turning waste into PEF, this facility is showing how industrial processes can reduce their reliance on fossil fuels. We can also reduce the amount of waste materials going into landfill, an important factor in cutting our national greenhouse gas emissions.”
The Wetherill Park plant is licenced to process 250,000 tonnes of waste a year, producing PEF and recovering other commodities such as metal, clean timber and inert materials. Over the lifetime of the equipment, the plant is expected to abate over 4 million tonnes of carbon emissions. PEF produced at the Wetherill plant is already supplying Boral’s Berrima Cement Works in NSW, with ResourceCo also targeting export markets in Asia.
CEFC Bioenergy and Energy from Waste Sector lead Henry Anning said the CEFC was working with the waste management sector to increase energy efficiency and energy generation, as well as reduce carbon emissions.
“With Australia’s waste sector facing considerable disruption, now is the time to adopt new ways of doing business,” Mr Anning said. “With the right investment in proven technologies, companies can turn our urban and industrial waste into new energy sources, creating an important revenue stream while also reducing landfill gas emissions.
“In Australia there is a growing commercial opportunity for resource recovery, reinforced by tightening state government landfill regulations. We are working alongside waste companies to invest in long- term infrastructure that can make a lasting difference to the way we handle our waste. Experience in Europe and Japan shows the exciting potential of these technologies to handle our increasing volumes of waste.
There is strong potential for sustainable energy and resource recovery to play an increasing role among waste management options.”
The CEFC finance for ResourceCo is part of the CEFC’s Sustainable Cities Investment Program.
Learn more about how the CEFC is financing the waste and recycling industry.