A REPORT recommending the approval of combustion technology to turn waste to energy, in the form of electricity, at the East Rockingham Waste to Energy facility is open for public appeal until November 5.
The revised Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) report recommends the Environment Minister Stephen Dawson approve a change from the 2015 approved use of gasification technology to combustion technology.
EPA chairman Dr Tom Hatton said an environmental impact assessment found no further risks to the environment or community as a result of the change.
“New Energy Corporation proposes to use the Hitachi Zosen Inova Grate Combustion technology in its East Rockingham facility, which has been tried and tested in more than 500 plants around the world,” Dr Hatton said.
“While the gasification technology originally proposed for the facility was also deemed to be acceptable by the EPA, the combustion technology has been used in a number of facilities of a similar scale, and we have determined it does not pose any additional risks to the surrounding environment and community.”
The combustion technology allows for greater waste processing from 225,000 tonnes a year to 300,000 tonnes and will generate more electricity.
The EPA has also recommended strict new conditions for the proposal to ensure only residual waste (waste after sorting and recycling) is accepted and processed at the facility.
The Shire of Mundaring and cities of Kalamunda and Swan signed participant’s agreements with the Eastern Metropolitan Regional Council (EMRC) in March to supply waste to the facility.
Shire of Mundaring chief executive officer Jonathan Throssell said the combustion technology was assessed and accepted by the EMRC and Shire of Mundaring during the tender process and did not need to return to council for consideration.
“Consistent with tender requirements, this technology needs the EPA’s approval given the technology is different to their existing approval,” he said.
“Therefore no further report to Council is required.”
In a similar response, an EMRC spokesperson said the use of the combustion technology was approved, understanding that New Energy Corporation were in the process of amending their environmental approvals.
Appeals can be made at www.appealsconvenor.wa.gov.au
By Claire Ottaviano