Feedstock deal

Michelle Slater

Waste management company Citywide has entered into a memorandum of understanding with Opal Australian Paper to supply feedstock for a large scale energy from waste project at Maryvale.

The project is being developed by a consortium comprising Opal Australian Paper, SUEZ Australia and New Zealand, Tribe, Masdar and Acciona.

Citywide chief executive officer Chris Campbell said the agreement meant the company could supply the feedstock via a rail link, and potentially participate as an equity partner.

“Consistent with Citywide’s Waste and Recycling Strategy, participation in this project is about our commitment to finding alternatives to landfill for non-recyclable waste,” Mr Campbell told The Express.

“It’s about the relentless pursuit of more sustainable solutions for effective waste management that help shape healthy, safe, thriving liveable cities and communities.”

The feedstock would be supplied from waste generated from inner-Melbourne municipalities and businesses, made up of a mixture of household waste and business waste.

However, details over the length of the supply agreements were yet to be negotiated.

Mr Campbell said Victorians sent 4.6 million tonnes of material to landfill last year.

“Even with the best recycling practices, there is still a lot of material that needs disposal,” he said.

“The EfW facility will allow us to divert waste from landfill by turning it into something that can benefit the whole community.”

The project will process non-recyclable residual waste to create energy which will reduce the mill’s reliance on the grid, freeing enough gas and electricity to supply more than 50,000 homes.

It is expected to reduce 270,000 tonnes of CO2 per year.

Construction is expected to commence in late 2021, with completion expected by early 2025.

The construction phase is estimated to generate 500 jobs on average over the three-year period.

Opal strategic projects general manger David Jettner said the Citywide collaboration was an “important step” towards the project.

Mr Jettner said Citywide’s transfer station was adjacent to Opal’s rail link in metro Melbourne, which would allow additional municipal and business refuse to be delivered directly to Maryvale.

“Citywide will bring both innovative industry experience and a key link in our network of waste transfer hubs already provided by SUEZ,” Mr Jettner said.

Mr Jettner also said they were hoping to offer a “landfill alternative” for Gippsland municipalities and businesses.

He said this would top up the potential waste feedstock from Citywide and 150,000 tonnes of waste feedstock supplied by SUEZ.

The Federal government committed $2.5 million towards a feasibility study into constructing the facility, with Member for Gippsland Darren Chester stating securing long-term and sustainable jobs was a “number one issue for our region”.

“This project presents a significant economic opportunity for the Latrobe Valley during both the construction phase and once the facility is operational,” Mr Chester said.