East Rockingham’s Waste-to-Energy (WtE) project has reached a milestone with the energising of the Western Power electrical switchyard, and is set to divert up to 96 per cent of residual waste from landfill when it begins running in 2023.

East Rockingham WtE is a 300,000 tonne-per-annum waste to energy facility under construction in Rockingham, about 45km south of Perth.

Once complete, the facility will deliver a cost-effective waste treatment solution and a vital source of renewable energy.

Western Power and East Rockingham WtE signed a contract in December 2019 detailing the works required for the project.

This included the design, installation, and commissioning of a Western Power electrical substation at the site, a 132kV transmission line from the site to the existing transmission network on Patterson Road, and secondary systems upgrades to two existing substations in the Kwinana area.

The works have been a critical component of the project and will facilitate the export of approximately 224,000MWh of electricity through the South West Interconnected System, which is enough to power 36,000 homes in the metropolitan area.

This project will use moving grate technology to thermally treat the waste and convert the recovered energy into steam to produce electricity. Metallic materials can be recovered and recycled, and other by-products have the potential to be reused as construction materials.

East Rockingham WtE Chairman, Alister Walker, said, “I’m delighted with the achievement of this major milestone and the continuing progress at East Rockingham to ready the project for operations in early 2023.

“I acknowledge Western Power for their professional performance and I’m pleased by the level of coordination and positive teamwork evident between the organisations throughout this process; it has been a great partnership.

“Modern waste to energy plants like East Rockingham are a key part of the circular economy that will deliver a clean and efficient way to recover energy, metals and other valuable products from residual waste that would otherwise be buried in landfill.”

Western Australian Energy Minister, Bill Johnston, also welcomed the collaboration. 

“Congratulations to Western Power and East Rockingham WtE on collaborating on this innovative project that generates sustainable energy and helps combat issues with waste management,” Mr Johnston said.

“This project delivers real climate change action, while creating local jobs and boosting the economy.

“This facility will use household and commercial waste that could not be avoided or recycled as a fuel to create steam and electricity for Western Australia’s main electricity grid.”

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