The Mount Piper Energy Recovery Project Final Investment Decision Study is a technical and economic feasibility study of converting waste to energy and providing steam for integration into Mount Piper Power Station in NSW.
The Mount Piper Energy Recovery Project Final Investment Decision Study was intended to determine the technical and economic feasibility of the energy from waste (EfW) plant. Through various studies and early engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor engagements, the project was technically designed to comply with the requirements. Economically, the steam offtake and price for the steam was determined according to market rates along with the gate fee for waste and capital cost including the EPC. After careful consideration of the project’s technical and economic merits, the project was determined not feasible.
The Mount Piper Energy Recovery Project Final Investment Decision Study aims to explore the option of diverting waste from landfill by recovering the energy contained in that waste. It also provides an alternative to burning fossil fuel to generate electricity. RE.Group and EnergyAustralia will determine whether it is feasible to co-locate a moving grate EfW boiler next to an existing coal power station and feed the steam generated into the infrastructure. If successful, the project would be the first-of-its-kind to utilise an existing coal power station to partly solve a waste issue faced in most parts of the world. It would also set the tone for future EfW projects in NSW where uncertainties remain as to the need and best practice implementation.
To determine whether this solution is feasible RE.Group and EnergyAustralia will:
- Submit a development approval
- Engage with stakeholders to understand barriers to social licence and incorporate best available techniques to the design of the EfW plant
- Engage with EPC companies to understand costs and technical parameters
- Explore possible transport routes and related limitations to ensure refuse derived fuel can safely and efficiently be delivered to the power station
- Hold various consultations with local, state and federal authorities to understand legislation and collaborate on best practice solutions for developing the project.
The project aims to determine the technical and economic feasibility of converting waste to energy to provide steam for integration into an existing power station.
Interaction held with local stakeholders and the community provided a positive outcome for EfW generally and the project. Unlike other EfW projects that face significant objections to development approval, this project received limited objections following extensive community consultation and an extended public exhibition period for the Environmental Impact Statement.
Through the various stages of the development, the project team as well as stakeholders and contractors gained knowledge on technology and regulatory requirements. This information has been shared in conferences and discussed in various working groups.
While the project has faced setbacks and will not be delivered in its original form by the original joint venture proponents, the project has made a positive contribution to demonstrating how EfW could be developed in NSW.