Waste-to-energy - a first in Australia

Posted on 11 July 2019.

In 2021, the first waste-to-energy plant in Australia will be in Kwinana. A circular solution by Veolia producing electricity to feed the local grid.

The heat emitted by the machines will be recovered to supply local homes with heating and hot water.

Did you know? Compared to most countries Australia produces a serious amount of waste. Over the last twenty years, the country's waste production has increased by 170%. Result: according to the OECD, in 2015, Australia produced 561 kg of waste per year per capita (compared to an average of 354 kilos per year in France, according to the Centre National d’Information Indépendante sur les Déchets). And nearly half of all Australian waste goes directly to landfill.
Although the Australian government has recently withdrawn from the Paris Climate Agreement, it is still aware of the need to find an effective and responsible solution for recovering the country’s household waste. A challenge being met by Veolia’s local branch.
In fact, in 2018, in Kwinana, Western Australia, Veolia was entrusted with managing the country’s very first waste-to-energy unit. It is scheduled to start operations in 2021.
Concretely, the waste will be used to generate renewable electrical energy that will be fed directly into Western Australian grid. How does it work? Routed to the plant, waste from neighboring communities will be stored in a huge pit and processed at a very high temperature. The combustion generates water vapor, which will activate a turbine. As it rotates, it produces electricity, which will be sold to the local power grid. Highly sophisticated processes assure that all pollutants contained in the waste and transferred into the flue gas through combustion are eliminated in an efficient, sustainable and reliable way.

Nothing is lost, everything is recycled

And that's not all! Ferrous and non-ferrous metals will be recovered, therefore increasing recycling rates and reducing greenhouse gas emissions associated with virgin materials production Finally, because in the circular economy "nothing is lost, everything is transformed", solid residues from combustion might potentially be transformed into road-building materials.
Thehe Kwinana plant will handle 400,000 metric tons of waste per year. Enough to produce around 40 MW of green electricity, equivalent to the annual consumption of 50,000 homes.