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Remondis appoints Jacobs as EfW proposal progresses

Remondis Australia has signed a multi-million dollar contract with leading solutions provider Jacobs to support design and environmental aspects of its proposed $400 million Energy From Waste facility.

Selected after an extensive tender process, Jacobs will oversee key engineering, design, procurement and environmental work, including formation of the projects critical Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). Jacobs will commence with preliminary engineering studies and design work, which will inform the EIS and enable REMONDIS to provide the public with technical specifics of the project in due course.

Remondis project manager, Sarah Collins, said Jacobs was selected based on its extensive global experience.

“We need the best and most experienced minds guiding us as we move through the design and approvals process,” Collins said. “Jacobs has an impressive record supporting major infrastructure delivery nationally and globally, including Energy from Waste projects. We’re partnering with Jacobs to undertake key technical and environmental studies, enabling us to develop the project as we seek approvals. That will in turn enable us to inform the community about specific details as our community consultation process evolves.”

Jacobs executive director of operations Australia and New Zealand, Solutions and Advisory, Prasannah Kumar, said there were many environmental and economic benefits behind modern Energy from Waste facilities.

“Beyond being safe and effective, Energy from Waste facilites are a way of life in many big cities overseas,” Prasannah said. “We can see the potential at Swanbank and want to play a key role in delivering a facility modelled on global best practice. The obvious benefits include a staggering drop in landfill operations and a cleaner way of making electricity.”

The Jacobs team of more than 40 specialists will work alongside Remondis’ locally based management team.

The $400 million Energy from Waste proposal forms part of Remondis‘ planned $700 million Clean Energy & Resource Recovery Precinct at Swanbank, which would lift current waste management operations to global best practice by enhancing the ‘circular economy’ concept – doing something with almost all waste that arrives, as opposed to burying it.

“Instead of digging unsightly holes, dealing with the resulting land disturbance and environmental impacts, and tipping up to half a million tonnes of unrecyclable waste in each year, we can divert almost all of that and use it to make cleaner electricity,” Collins said. “This is an ideal site for such technology, given the long-term waste supply and proximity to electricity infrastructure.”

If approved, the Energy from Waste facility would create 200 construction and 70 permanent jobs.

Key points are:

  • Remondis first considered the concept of an Energy from Waste facility at its Swanbank site in 2016 and approached the Qld Government in 2018, ahead of the Coordinator-General giving the proposal Coordinated Project Status in June 2020.
  • The proposal fits with the Queensland Government’s objective of finding waste landfill alternatives, given that landfill sites are being exhausted. The Queensland Waste and Resource Recovery Infrastructure Report identifies Energy from Waste technology is an ‘essential part of the mix’ if longer term and sustainable waste recovery targets are to be achieved.
  • Swanbank is an ideal site for an Energy from Waste facility because: o It is a long-term waste management precinct with a 23-year history and pre-existing waste stream already being trucked into the site
  • It has nearby water sources, which is important for the electricity creation process.
  • It has neighbouring electricity infrastructure enabling new power to be fed into the grid.
  • The Energy from Waste facility would cost more than $400 million and is intended to be the centrepiece of a new $700 million Clean Energy & Resource Recovery Precinct at Remondis’ Swanbank site, 10 kilometres south-east of Ipswich. The broader precinct, if progressed, would be subjected to a separate approvals process.
  • The Energy from Waste facility would create 200 full-time equivalent (FTE) construction jobs and up to 70 FTE local operational jobs.
  • Up to 500,000 tonnes a year of non-recyclable waste currently goes to landfill at the site. A majority of this waste would be diverted to generate up to 50 megawatts of cleaner baseload energy per year – enough to power 50,000 homes each year.
  • Energy from Waste facilities operate with tremendous success around the world – including in many densely populated cities – and are a proven solution to growing waste disposal pressure.