Joint Venture for Energy from Waste Projects

Aim is to develop energy from waste projects in Australia to provide solutions for some of the 27 million tons of waste landfilled each year.

Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy company Masdar and Tribe Infrastructure Group, an independent infrastructure project finance firm headquartered in United Arab Emirates (UAE), intend to strengthen their collaboration in the deployment of utility-scale energy-from-waste (EfW) projects by establishing a joint venture in Australia. The announcement was made by Christopher Pyne, Former Australian Defence Minister, and Abdullah Al Subousi, UAE Ambassador to Australia, alongside Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, Chief Executive Officer of Masdar, and Peter McCreanor, Tribe CEO, during the inauguration of the Australia United Arab Emirates Business Council, which took place in Sydney, Australia.

Attractive market
Each year approximately 27 million tons of waste is landfilled in Australia, the equivalent of filling 75 Olympic swimming pools. Yet there are currently no utility-scale energy from waste plants operating in the country. Australia represents an attractive market for investment in the EfW as part of a widespread push to help decarbonize the Australian economy, Tribe Infrastructure Group underlined.

In January 2020, Masdar and Tribe announced that they had acquired a 40 percent stake in the East Rockingham Waste to Energy project in Perth, Western Australia. Construction on the 511 million Australian Dollar (about 377.4 million US-Dollar) greenfield facility, which is located in the Rockingham Industry Zone, 40 kilometers south of Perth, is ongoing and the plant is expected to be operational in late 2022. When completed, East Rockingham WTE will process 300,000 tons per year of non-recyclable residual municipal, commercial and industrial waste and up to 30,000 tons of biosolids per year, the information said. The facility would also recover approximately 70,000 tons per annum of bottom ash, which will be processed for use in roadbase and other construction materials. According to Tribe, the facility will generate 29 megawatts (MW) of baseload renewable energy, enough to power more than 36,000 homes, and displace more than 300,000 tons of CO2 emissions per year.

In October 2020, Opal Australian Paper and SUEZ Australia and New Zealand announced that Masdar and Tribe have joined them as additional equity partners for the development of the Maryvale EfW facility in Victoria. This project would divert approximately 325,000 tons of non-recyclable residual waste from landfill “and reuse it to generate steam and electricity to replace natural gas and coal fired electricity”. The project is aligned with Victoria’s circular economy policy and is expected to deliver significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.

Masdar and Tribe are both founding members of the Australia United Arab Emirates Business Council, which was recently established to increase collaboration between the two countries.

(Published in GLOBAL RECYCLING Magazine 2/2021, Page 19, Photo: Masdar)