Gas monitoring solution deployed at high-tech waste-to-energy plant

ABB Australia Pty Ltd

Tuesday, 27 October, 2020

Gas monitoring solution deployed at high-tech waste-to-energy plant

ABB gas analysers will help to safely produce 29 MW of baseload electricity from non-recyclable waste at a new waste-to-energy plant near Perth.

Cleantech company Hitachi Zosen Inova (HZI) Australia has selected three ABB ACF5000 analysers as part of a complete continuous emission monitoring (CEM) solution to accurately monitor the composition of exhaust gases at its new large-scale East Rockingham Waste-to-Energy facility, located 45 km south of Perth, Western Australia.

According to the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) — which provided funding to the project — high-tech facilities like this waste-to-energy plant address two major challenges facing Australia, delivering sustainable and affordable solutions for both electricity generation and waste management.

The plant will generate 29 MW of electricity for the local state-owned electricity grid — more than 50% of it deemed to be renewable. This is enough capacity to power 40,000 homes from an annual feedstock of up to 330,000 tonnes of municipal, industrial and commercial waste. By-products from the incineration process will be used to build roads and produce construction materials, ensuring that 70,000 tonnes of bottom ash will not go to landfill.

The success of the $511 million project is vital to improve waste diversion rates. Perth is built on a sandy coastal plain and heavily reliant on groundwater as its primary source of potable water, so when existing landfill sites reach capacity, new metropolitan area landfill sites are unlikely to be approved.

Image caption: Figure demonstrating the plant’s waste-to-energy process.

ABB’s multi-component gas analysers will help the plant operator control the cost of compliance, remove complexity and maximise profit while operating in a sustainable way. Digital service technology will be a key feature of the project, particularly ABB Ability Condition Monitoring for measurement devices, which will enable ABB to provide remote support during commissioning, start-up and throughout the analysers’ lifecycle. This means ABB will contribute expert engineering input without visiting the site, enabling condition-based maintenance instead of schedule-based maintenance, with interaction secured by ABB’s cybersecurity technologies.

“We are pleased to have selected ABB for this project as they share our mission to deliver sustainable solutions for a better environment,” said Dr Marc Stammbach, Country Sales Manager of HZI Australia.

Reported to be the second largest of its kind in Australia, HZI will part-own and co-operate the plant in addition to developing and constructing the state-of-the-art facility in the Rockingham Industrial Zone.

Waste-to-energy projects attract the highest level of assessment by environmental regulators — the combination of ABB’s gas analysers and expert services will help ensure maximum up-time, regulatory compliance and continued profitable operations. ABB CEMS consistently achieve in excess of 98% up-time, which means less maintenance effort, lower total cost of ownership and elimination of the stress and workload caused by non-compliance.

“ABB is excited to be involved in this groundbreaking waste-to-energy project that helps reduce the environmental impact of waste management and supports our vision for a more sustainable world,” ABB Head of Measurement & Analytics Adrian Mather said.

“Our analytics offering, local capabilities and domain expertise enable us to make a significant contribution across the project value chain from engineering and project execution to lifecycle support.”

Once operational in December 2022, the plant and its process will achieve 96% diversion from landfill. This will make a significant environmental impact given that more than 23 million tons of waste goes into Australian landfill every year, with Western Australia having the highest waste generation rate per capita — coupled with the lowest recovery rate — of any state in Australia.

About ABB’s analyser system

ABB’s ACF5000 multi-component FTIR spectrometer analyser system can measure up to 15 gas components simultaneously and is a complete system with a compact and modular design that offers low total cost of ownership. ABB technology is at the heart of more than two thousand analyser and CEM solutions installations, globally. These advanced measurement solutions enable some of the world’s largest cities including Frankfurt, London, Vienna and Singapore to efficiently, cost-effectively and safely generate renewable energy from waste. ABB’s analysers can also be found in space, monitoring greenhouse gas emissions from satellites.

Image caption: Concept drawing of East Rockingham Waste to Energy Plant.

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