Image courtesy of Woodside.

Greenhouse gas conversion tech proposed for Red Hill

Woodside and the EMRC will collaborate and trial new greenhouse gas converting technology.
August 10, 2023

EASTERN Metropolitan Regional Council (EMRC) has been working collaboratively with Woodside Energy on a proposal that aims to transform greenhouse gases into useful products.

Together, EMRC and Woodside are progressing a proposal to develop the carbon to ethanol pilot plant on land owned by the EMRC at the Red Hill Waste Management Facility (RHWMF).

The proposed pilot plant is a demonstration-scale facility that aims to test technologies that can convert greenhouse gases into useful products. EMRC has identified circular economy leadership and reducing carbon impacts as key goals in their sustainability strategy.

The plant would align with these goals, as it aims to collect a portion of the methane and carbon dioxide produced at the RHWMF, and convert them into an ethanol product, which could then be used as a fuel for mobile plant equipment on the RHWMF or transported off site for use elsewhere.

In progressing the proposed pilot, EMRC and Woodside have taken an open and transparent approach to communication and feedback and have worked to engage stakeholders early in the project-cycle. By engaging stakeholders early, EMRC and Woodside have been able to incorporate feedback received into the design of the facility.

For instance, EMRC and Woodside received comments from community members about the proximity of the pilot plant to residential properties.

Acting on this feedback, EMRC and Woodside have identified a new location within the RHWMF that is further away from residences. EMRC and Woodside also received comments from community members about the potential for lighting from the facility to impact visual amenity.

EMRC and Woodside are now looking at possible ways to reduce lighting use while also ensuring the health and safety of staff.

EMRC chairman Cr Mel Congerton said there has been a genuine attempt by EMRC and Woodside to consult with stakeholders early in the process.

“By consulting early, the EMRC and Woodside have been able to better understand the concerns of community members and use this feedback to inform the design of the facility,” he said.

EMRC chief executive officer Marcus Geisler said they aimed to provide many opportunities for stakeholders to engage and provide feedback as the project progresses.

“The technologies that would be assessed at the pilot plant have the potential to shift the dial on the future treatment of greenhouse gases, as they look at them as a resource, rather than a challenge,” he said.

“It will be these kinds of powerful collaborations and innovative initiatives that could deliver significant environmental and social benefits to Perth’s eastern region and the world.”

At the EMRC Council Meeting held on June 22, the business plan for a major land transaction in relation to the proposed lease of land to Woodside for the pilot plant was adopted by council.

A draft business plan for a major land transaction was released for public comment on April 5 and closed on May 19 with no public comments received. The carbon to ethanol pilot plant remains subject to government and internal approvals.

Together, EMRC and Woodside will continue to consult with stakeholders across all phases of the project. The next set of community information sessions have been planned from 9 am-1.30 pm August 16 at the RHWMF’s Waste Education Centre.

To learn more about the pilot plant, click here.

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