Like many local manufacturers, Australian Paper is facing challenges. We’re determined to face these efficiently and responsibly by harnessing innovative, proven technologies. A key priority is to stabilise our costs, and one of the most significant focus areas is energy.
Despite being Victoria’s largest generator of baseload renewable energy, we are also the largest industrial user of natural gas in Victoria and use significant quantities of coal-fired electricity. Like any other business or household in Australia, we are exposed to surges in energy prices and uncertainty of supply.
To help manage our energy costs, Australian Paper is proposing to construct a thermal Energy from Waste (EfW) plant adjacent to our Maryvale Paper Mill site in the Latrobe Valley, Victoria.
This technology creates energy from the controlled combustion of non-hazardous waste materials that would otherwise go to landfill.
EfW is recognised as a proven and reliable technology which has been used inEurope, North America and Japan for decades. There are over 500 operational EfW plants in Europe alone, many of which are in and around major cities such as Paris, Zurich, Vienna and London. Countries such as Germany, Austria and Sweden utilise EfW as a key component in the wastes management hierarchy, reducing their landfill to almost zero.
The proposed $600 million EfW plant would process up to 650,000 tonnes of residual
Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) as well as Commercial and Industrial (C&I) waste.
It would allow Australian Paper to attain a sustainable, long-term and stable alternative baseload energy source to produce steam and electricity for the Maryvale Mill.
We wanted to address our future energy needs proactively, and with support from the Australian and Victorian Governments, we’ve undertaken a $7.5 million feasibility study to quantify the benefits of EfW technology at our Maryvale Mill. The study investigates the technical, commercial, environmental and social dimensions of the proposed facility.
This included several overseas study tours to Europe and Asia to inspect designs and speak with EfW experts with experience in managing the environmental planning, regulation, construction, operation and performance monitoring of EfW plants to ensure the environment is protected.
We expect the feasibility study to be finalised by February 2019.
On 25 May 2018 Australian Paper lodged a comprehensive EPA Works Approval Application.
Extensive community consultation was undertaken including a section 20b community conference which was attended by more than 60 community members, including local residents, representatives from not-for-profit organisations and businesses.
Further, it included a Health Impacts Assessment of the facility which confirmed that the facility’s impacts on community health would be negligible.
On 28 November 2018, the EPA issued a Works Approval for Australian Paper’s Energy from Waste (EfW) facility.
You can view this approval, along with other supporting material, at https://engage.vic.gov.au/epa-works-approvals/australian-paper-wa
Australian Paper has also been granted a planning permit from Latrobe City Council to proceed with construction of the Energy from Waste facility.
Access and download all the Energy From Waste Fact Sheets here:
You can receive regular EfW progress updates by joining our stakeholder mailing list at firstname.lastname@example.org
Members of our local community can also learn more about the feasibility study and the possibility of generating an alternative energy source from municipal waste by visiting the EfW Information Centre which is open to the public from 9:00am – 3:00pm each Thursday at 126 George Street, Morwell.