Over the coming decade, Victoria aims to become a world leader in renewable energy. The state is also moving to lead the way in how Australia manages its growing waste disposal issues.
One novel way is to use that waste to produce reliable baseload energy.
With that goal in mind, Australian Paper’s Maryvale mill in the Latrobe Valley has announced a $600 million deal with waste management group Suex, which will see the paper mill being powered by Victoria’s waste products.
In addition to the environmental benefits of this venture, the project is predicted to create over 1000 more jobs for the state.
A positive addition to the state
According to the Australian Associated Press, the mill intends to have its thermal energy plant up and running and powered by waste as soon as 2024.
Peter Williams, Australian Paper’s chief operating officer, says of the project:
‘An energy-from-waste facility at Maryvale would secure ongoing investment at the site, support employment growth in the Latrobe Valley and also provide the missing link in Victoria’s waste management infrastructure.’
The endeavour will mean as much as 650,000 tonnes of waste from Melbourne and Gippsland will be turned into electricity and steam for power, as opposed to just remaining as landfill.
With regards to the reason for this company transformation, Williams added:
‘We must develop alternative baseload energy sources to maintain our future competitiveness.’
And as for its benefit to the state, an economic study found that over 1000 jobs would be supported from the waste plant in just its construction period alone. Once fully operational, over 900 jobs will be created to maintain the plant.
Appealing reduction figures
As one of Victoria’s largest natural gas users, Australian Paper’s mill consumes around 8% of industrial gas for the state. After this waste plant is funning, however, this figure could be cut by up to 60%.
Another promising reduction comes in the form of greenhouse gas emissions. These could be reduced by around 550,000 tonnes per year, which is the equivalent of removing 100,000 cars from Victorian roads.
So it certainly seems like a worthwhile venture.
And even Mark Venhoek, the CEO for Suex — the company Australian Paper are pairing up with — is excited by this new regime.
‘We are proud to be partnering with Australian Paper on this innovative project which will be a landmark for Victoria’s emergency energy from waste sector.’
It’s nice to see a renewable energy project that actually has the figures to prove its potential.
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