ARENA is investing $3.9 million in a new waste-to-energy demonstration plant in Western Australia’s Collie Shire, constructed and operated by Renergi.

The $9.4 million project will help to create around 34 local jobs and the plant will use 1.5 tonnes of organic, forestry and agricultural waste each hour. 

Other projects that convert waste into energy rely on large centralised incineration plants. 

However, this Renergi project could prove a viable solution for regional and small towns.

Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction, Angus Taylor, said the project will not only be a boost to employment in regional WA, but help solve waste disposal issues while producing useful energy products.

“This innovative project will save around 4,000 tonnes of solid waste from going into council landfill each year, an issue faced by local councils across Australia,” Mr Taylor said.

“Around 8,000 tonnes of forestry and agricultural waste each year will be used to produce biofuels for local industry and create biochar that farmers can use to condition their soil.

“This project will allow regional Australia to play a role in advancing bioenergy technologies while helping to reduce emissions through repurposing waste.”

Federal Member for O’Connor, Rick Wilson, said he was thrilled to see the project funded in his electorate. 

“The Collie community has accepted it needs to diversify its economy to provide long-term jobs into the future,” Mr Wilson said.

“This worthy project will create much-needed jobs and help to reduce the amount of waste going into landfill.”

The project also has support from the Western Australian Government’s Collie Futures Industry Development Fund ($2 million) and the Shire of Collie ($300,000), as well as private investors.

The plant is expected to be operating within two years.

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