Australian alternative fuel plants to deliver cleaner energy solutions
By Sustainability Matters Staff
Monday, 07 August, 2017
Resource Co is on track to significantly increase its annual 250,000 tonne production of alternative fuels in Australia.
Two new resource recovery and alternative fuel plants will come online to recover a range of commodities and transform select non-recyclable waste streams into solid fuel — processed engineered fuel (PEF).
The first plant is under construction at Wetherill Park in Sydney and will open this year, with the location of a second plant in another Australian state soon to be revealed.
Ben Sawley, chief executive officer, sustainable energy at ResourceCo said the company has secured $30 million to help build the new state-of-the-art PEF manufacturing plants from the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC).
“The plants will help facilitate the fuel diversification of cement kilns, reducing their reliance on coal and other fossil fuels,” Sawley said.
“The cement industry is starting to recognise the importance of having diversification in energy and the need to increase their use of alternative fuels.
“With coal and gas prices significantly increasing, we are seeing kilns that have already introduced an alternative fuel mix among their energy intake doing well in comparison to others that have been locked into purely fossil fuel.”
The Wetherill plant, when up and running, will process around 150,000 tonnes of waste a year to produce PEF and recover other commodities such as metal, clean timber and inert materials.
CEFC Bioenergy and Energy from Waste Sector lead Henry Anning said PEF demonstrated the incredible potential to transform waste that would otherwise go to landfill into a baseload energy source as part of Australia’s future clean energy mix, while also lowering emissions.
“Through this investment with ResourceCo, we are demonstrating the ability to use the latest energy-from-waste technology to deliver cleaner energy solutions to the Australian economy,” Anning said.
Waste levies which are enforced in NSW, South Australia, Victoria, the ACT and Western Australia highlight further reason the take-up in PEF is a good business decision as opposed to directing waste to landfill.
The Wetherill plant’s environmental credentials are further supported by the successful $5 million in grant funding secured from the NSW Environmental Trust under the Waste Less Recycle More initiative. The plant is also eligible for Australian carbon credit units (ACCUs).
“The PEF produced at Wetherill Park will be used in cement kilns locally in Australia and in South-East Asia, complementing ResourceCo’s operations in both markets,” Sawley said.
“We are continuing to extend our network to direct relevant waste streams away from landfill.
“The substitution rate of alternative fuels is estimated at less than 5% in South-East Asia, so the opportunity to tap further into this market is huge for us.
“PEF fits in easily with the existing waste supply. The only difference is waste generators and collectors deliver their suitable waste to a resource recovery PEF plant rather than landfill.”
The company’s PEF manufacturing plant in Ipoh, Malaysia has a 100,000 tonne-plus capacity.
ResourceCo’s Asia operations also intersect with its subsidiary, Tyrecycle, which is claimed to be the biggest recycler of end-of-life (EOL) tyres and conveyor belts in Australia.
Tyrecycle converts rubber waste into quality tyre-derived fuel (TDF) and other value-added products and has well-developed overseas infrastructure to service direct trading relationships with various cement kiln operators in the region.
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