Waste sector leaders Cleanaway and ResourceCo Group are transforming commercial and industrial waste into Processed Engineered Fuel (PEF) at the Wetherill Park resource recovery centre in Sydney.
The highest priority in waste management is to reduce the amount of waste produced. With what remains, proven technologies can be used to repurpose it, including as alternative fuels. By turning waste into PEF, this facility is showing how industrial processes can reduce their reliance on fossil fuels. It can also reduce the amount of waste materials going into landfill, an important factor in cutting national greenhouse gas emissions.
The Wetherill Park plant is licensed to process 250,000 tonnes of waste a year, producing PEF and recovering other commodities such as metal, clean timber and inert materials. Over the lifetime of the equipment, the plant is expected to abate over 4 million tonnes of carbon emissions. PEF produced at the Wetherill plant is already supplying Boral’s Berrima Cement Works in NSW, with ResourceCo also targeting export markets in Asia.
Once at the plant, traditionally landfill-bound waste materials are sorted. Through a process of shredding, screening and separating, inert content with no energy value is extracted while the balance of the content is converted into a dry solid fuel product.
The CEFC provided $30 million in debt finance to Resource Co to build two new plants. The first, at Wetherill Park in Sydney, opened in July 2018.
The Sydney plant benefits from New South Wales EPA grant funding of $5 million and is eligible for Australian Carbon Credit Units (ACCUs). The second plant is to be built in another Australian state yet to be announced.