Australia’s Largest Waste to Fuel Plant opens in NSW

Resource Recovery

July 31, 2018


Federal Environment and Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg will today unveil a new state-of-the-art resource recovery facility at Wetherill Park in Sydney – the largest of its kind in Australia.

The multi-million dollar resource recovery and Process Engineered Fuel (PEF) plant, developed by leading Australian company ResourceCo, and owned in a joint venture with Asia Pacific’s largest waste management, industrial and environmental services company, Cleanaway, will directly contribute to shifting Australia to a more sustainable energy model.

Chief Executive Officer Sustainable Energy at ResourceCo Ben Sawley says the new plant will divert up to 50-thousand truckloads of waste from landfill, while also reducing reliance on fossil fuels such as coal and gas.

“It will replace over 100,000 tonnes of coal usage per year alone and will take the equivalent of 20,000 cars annually off the road in terms of greenhouse gas emissions,” Mr Sawley says.

“We’re committed to playing a key role in Australia’s future sustainable energy mix, by reducing waste and lowering carbon emissions through production of a commercially viable sustainable energy product,” he says.

Cleanaway’s customer base and waste supply in NSW will help to drive volume to the facility, recovering even more waste from landfill.

The Wetherill Park plant is licensed to receive up to 250,000 tonnes per annum of dry commercial and industrial and mixed construction and demolition waste, recovering commodities such as metal, clean timber and inert materials, with the balance converted into PEF.

“The plant will transform waste from selected non-recyclable waste streams that would otherwise go into landfill into a baseload energy source, known as PEF,” Mr Sawley says.

PEF is used as a substitute for fossil fuels in both domestic and offshore markets in the production of cement.

The new Wetherill Park plant, providing employment for 50 people, will predominantly supply Boral, Australia’s largest construction material company, with PEF for its Berrima cement kiln, as a substitute for coal. The remainder will be exported to ResourceCo’s Asian business.

The plant adds another leading, high-tech facility to ResourceCo’s suite of 22 plants across Australia and SE Asia, having been at the leading edge of innovation in resource recovery for 25 years.

“The opportunity to tap further into this market is huge and it makes good sense, both environmentally and economically,” Mr Sawley says.

Cleanaway Chief Executive Officer Vik Bansal says this is an important new resource recovery solution in New South Wales that creates a landfill diversion option for commercial and industrial, residual recycling, and some construction and demolition waste.

“Investment in resource recovery and innovative waste to energy solutions is essential to making a sustainable future possible, and one of the ways we’re delivering on our Footprint 2025 strategy,” Mr Bansal says.

The project was supported by loan funding from the Clean Energy Finance Corporation. It also gained grant funding from the NSW Environment Trust, as part of the NSW EPA’s waste less, recycle more initiative, funded from the waste levy.

The technology is also eligible for Australian Carbon Credit United (ACCUs) due to its diversion of biomass waste from landfill.

About ResourceCo

ResourceCo is one of Australia’s leading environmental services companies. It has grown from a one-person operation in 1992, to over 700 staff operating in 22 locations in Australia and South-East Asia. ResourceCo has long-term partnerships with multi-national groups such as SUEZ, Lafarge and in Australia with Adelaide Brighton Cement.

From its early days as a concrete crushing business, ResourceCo has expanded as an integrated resource recovery business and in 1998 developed a dedicated mixed waste processing operation that resulted in recycling concrete and asphalt. Working with SUEZ and Adelaide Brighton Ltd, ResourceCo developed Australia’s first PEF manufacturing plant in 2006.

The company recycles more than 95 per cent of incoming materials while processing over two million tonnes of materials annually.

About Cleanaway

Cleanaway is Australia’s leading total waste management, industrial and environmental services company. For more than 50 years we have supported Australian industry, business, government, communities and households – delivering a comprehensive range of solutions that not only offer extraordinary benefits for our customers, but for our communities and generations to come. In 2018, we welcomed Toxfree and Daniels Health into the Cleanaway group, further extending our service capability.

Listed as one of the top 100 companies on the ASX, (ASX: CWY), our team of more than 5,500 highly trained staff are supported by a fleet of almost 4,000 specialist vehicles, working from a network of more than 250 locations around Australia.

Our mission is to make a sustainable future possible. We see all waste as a resource and use our facilities and processes to transform it into valuable commodities for every sector, industry and community.