The City of Cockburn, a local government area of Perth, Western Australia (WA), has signed an agreement with a consortium led by Hitachi Zosen Inova to supply waste to the East Rockingham Resource Recovery Facility (RRF) for a minimum of 20 years. The contract bolsters WA’s long-term waste management strategy, under which Energy from Waste is regarded as an integral part of sustainable resource recovery.
On November 2nd, a consortium led by Hitachi Zosen Inova (HZI) signed an agreement with the City of Cockburn (Cockburn) for the supply of waste to the East Rockingham Resource Recovery Facility for a minimum of 20 years. The agreement comes after the HZI consortium was named as preferred tenderer to process residual waste from the Perth Metro Area at an Energy from Waste (EfW) facility in March this year. Cockburn has undertaken a rigorous process to evaluate the best possible waste treatment technologies available worldwide and also to identify the best contracting models available for local government. The HZI technology was chosen based on numerous international credentials as well as the contracting model, which allows Cockburn the flexibility to revise and improve waste management practices continually going forward.
EfW as Integral Part of WA’s Draft Waste Strategy
The finalization of the waste supply agreement (WSA) coincides with the release of WA’s draft Waste Strategy 2030, through which the WA Government acknowledges for the first time that energy recovery from residual waste is a legitimate resource recovery process after all attempts to reuse and recycle have been exhausted. Enzo Gullotti, Chairman of New Energy Corporation (New Energy), a Perth-based waste-to-energy company and member of the consortium, which has been developing the East Rockingham site since 2013, noted, “Waste to Energy projects should not and need not impede higher-order recovery processes for waste streams. Our contracting structure allows councils to recover as much resources from waste as they can and to educate communities on minimizing waste generation.”
Waste Supply Contract Cost-Saving and Compliant with Local Waste Reduction Schemes
Under the terms of the agreement, the City of Cockburn will supply its residual waste to the RRF on a “waste arising basis”, i.e. it will only pay for capacity it uses. This means there is no penalty for implementing waste reduction schemes, such as waste avoidance, reduction, and introducing a third bin for compostable organic waste.
City of Cockburn Waste Manager Lyall Davieson said the WSA represented significant savings for ratepayers and would furthermore divert greater volumes of waste from landfill. He went on: “Waste disposal at landfill sites attracts an ever-increasing State Government landfill levy, which is currently $70 per tonne. The State Government has determined that no further landfills will be approved on the Swan Coastal Plain. The EfW process is environmentally favorable to landfill in that calorific materials are converted for energy production.”
The East Rockingham Resource Recovery Facility will convert approximately 330,000 tonnes of waste per year into clean, renewable energy, producing 29 megawatts of baseload electricity. This is enough to power 36,000 homes. The project represents a $400 million private sector investment in the Perth metro area, creating 300 jobs during construction and 50 full-time jobs throughout its 30+-year operating life.
Strong Consortium for Integrated Waste Treatment Solutions
The consortium that has developed and will deliver the project is led by HZI, a global leader in EfW technology and turnkey delivery of waste-to-energy projects. HZI’s partners in the project are New Energy Corporation and Tribe Infrastructure Group, an international advisory and investment firm specializing in the development and financing of complex infrastructure transactions. HZI will act as the technology provider, engineering and construction contractor and will execute a long-term operations and maintenance contract for the project as a joint venture with New Energy.
HZI Managing Director Australia, Dr. Marc Stammbach, emphasizes the company’s considerable experience in developing, constructing, and operating waste-to-energy plants worldwide. “We have successfully delivered projects in major global capitals such as London and Paris. Importantly, we stay with the project from conception through construction, and, once the project is commissioned, we then lead the operations and maintenance activities for the life of the plant. This continuity will ensure Perth’s first waste-to-energy project is a successful one.”
Mr. Gullotti from New Energy commented, “This is the second successive contract awarded to our consortium. Councils are acknowledging that the HZI consortium has the right credentials on which to base a 20-year relationship.”
The consortium is now working through pre-engineering and the update of the site environmental approval. The project is scheduled to start construction in March of 2019.