EPA ticks off change of technology at proposed East Rockingham waste-to-energy facility

Staff ReporterSound Telegraph
Concept design for the East Rockingham waste-to-energy facility.
Camera IconConcept design for the East Rockingham waste-to-energy facility.

The Environmental Protection Authority has recommended conditional approval for the change of technology at the proposed East Rockingham waste-to-energy facility.

In making the recommendation, EPA chair Tom Hatton said New Energy Corporation Pty Ltd changing the technology from a gasification process to a combustion process widely used around the world did not bring further risks to the surrounding environment or communities.

“New Energy Corporation proposes to use the Hitachi Zosen Inova Grate Combustion technology in its East Rockingham facility, which has been tried and tested in more than 500 plants around the world,” Dr Hatton said.

“While the gasification technology originally proposed for the facility was also deemed to be acceptable by the EPA, the combustion technology has been used in a number of facilities of a similar scale, and we have determined it does not pose any additional risks to the surrounding environment and community.”

The Hitachi Zosen Inova Grate Combustion technology allows for a greater waste throughput at the East Rockingham facility, from 225,000 tonnes per annum to 300,000 and will generate more electricity.

EPA also recommended strict new conditions for the proposal, which will ensure only residual waste is accepted and processed, consistent with the State’s waste hierarchy.

In its report, released on October 19, the EPA defined ‘residual waste’ as “waste that remains after the application of a best practice source separation process and recycling systems, consistent with the waste hierarchy as described in Section 5 of the Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Act 2007, and the Waste Strategy approved or revised from time to time under the WARR Act.”

The EPA’s report to the Minister for Environment is open for a two-week public appeal period, closing Monday November 5. Appeals can be made at www.appealsconvenor.wa.gov.au.

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