Government of Western Australia Official Site


Australian first will turn waste into electricity


Albert Jacob
Minister for Environment; Heritage

Environment Minister Albert Jacob has given environmental approval for Australia’s first metropolitan waste-to-energy facility in East Rockingham – which could process household waste into enough electricity to power 23,000 homes a year. Mr Jacob said his decision to approve New Energy’s Waste-to-Energy and Material Recovery Facility was based on consideration of advice from the Environmental Protection Authority.

“This development marks an important step in establishing the first large-scale, waste-to-energy facility to process non-hazardous residual waste from mixed waste sources in an Australian capital city,” he said. The facility is planned for 2017 and will be strategically located in the Kwinana Industrial Area.

Waste-to-energy technology recovers materials and energy from residual waste, rather than material being disposed to landfill. Residual waste is material with no available preferred recycling option. The development will incorporate a materials recovery facility which will extract recyclable materials, such as metal and plastic, before the remaining residual waste enters the waste-to-energy process.

“This new facility could process up to 225,000 tonnes of waste a year, which equates to about nine per cent of all metropolitan waste sent to landfill in 2012-13. It is designed to produce 18.5 megawatts of electricity, with 16 megawatts – equivalent to 23,000 homes per annum available to the grid.”

Mr Jacob said improvements to waste-to-energy technology over several decades meant these facilities now operated safely in many countries to very high emission standards. The Minister said the facility would be required to meet strict environmental standards consistent with those imposed on facilities that operated within the European Union.

New Energy must secure other State Government approvals to proceed with the project, such as a works approval and licences required under the Environmental Protection Act.