Waste-to-energy works to start 2023

By Cam Lucadou-Wells

Construction of a controversial waste-to-energy plant in Dandenong South is expected to begin in April 2023, according to its proponent Great Southern Waste Technologies.

Detailed planning and design has begun on the project at 70 Ordish Road, with an international investor and a South East waste supply, GSWT announced.

The plant is expected to be built by mid-to-late 2025.

The project is being supported by Surbana Jurong Capital, an investment arm of the Singapore Government Sovereign Wealth Fund, GSWT stated.

An estimated 100,000 tonnes of domestic and commercial waste from Melbourne’s South East will be supplied annually by SOLO Resource Recovery.

The facility will generate about 11 megawatts of “baseload, renewable electricity” from combusting the waste – enough to “power 8000 homes and businesses in the area”, according to GSWT.

“But just as importantly, it will also stop an enormous amount of waste taking up valuable space at landfills and in the process stop the production of 120,000 tonnes of harmful greenhouse gas emissions per annum,” GSWT owner Craig Gilbert said.

“I’m also incredibly proud that by building and operating this facility, GSWT will create 30 new local jobs and help create a further 30 indirect jobs for the local community.”

The plant will have “exclusive rights” to the “world leading ENERGOS technology developed in Norway to strict environmental guidelines”.

GSWT’s Chief Operating Officer, Lukas McVey said there were “very favorable contractual conditions and incentives on offer” to local governments and other waste generators, including renewable power offtake agreements.

He said the plant would meet all Australian state and federal emissions laws.

“By making it a fully sealed unit with the waste unloaded and processed indoors, we are ensuring there will be no odours and it’s highly unlikely that there will any dust,” Mr McVey said.

“Melbourne’s south-east is demonstrating to the rest of Victoria and Australia there is a way to manage waste in an environmentally beneficial way which has the added bonus of saving our precious land from landfill and generating clean energy and jobs for the local community.

Last year, GSWT was overlooked as a potential contractor by the multi-council consortium South Eastern Metropolitan Advanced Waste Processing Pty Ltd – which is exploring a contract for a waste-to-energy plant in the South East.

Greater Dandenong Council recently pulled out of the SEMAWP’s 25-year contract due to concerns about financial risk and environmental impact.

The council – as well as surrounding schools and residents – had opposed the GSWT plant, which was approved by Environment Protection Authority and the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal.

Star Journal asked the council if it would supply waste to the plant.

“We already have contracts in place for waste disposal with other contractors, with Greater Dandenong’s waste currently going to the Cleanaway Dandenong SEMTS – South East Melbourne Transfer Station,” Greater Dandenong engineering director Paul Kearsley said.