SMEC has assisted Great Southern Waste Technologies (GSWT) in gaining environmental approval for its proposed Waste-to-Energy (WtE) facility located in Dandenong, Victoria, Australia.

Once complete, the plant will receive over 100,000 tonnes of waste per year, eliminate over 100,000T of greenhouse gas emissions, as compared to landfilling, and generate approximately 7.9 megawatts (MW) of baseload electricity to be fed into the grid.

The facility utilises proven gasification technology which has been developed and successfully implemented in Europe, accruing over 800,000 hours of continual operation and meeting strict European Union emission limits.

“Utilising this valuable resource through energy recovery offers a sustainable improvement to waste management services, whilst also reducing the overall greenhouse gas emissions and the potential environmental impacts associated with landfilling,” said Craig Gilbert from GSWT.

Receiving approval from Victoria’s Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) is the culmination of two years’ work involving a wide range of studies to assess potential environmental and human health impacts and support approval of the facility.

SMEC’s team delivered the Front End Engineering Design (FEED) and conducted studies including but not limited to noise, air emissions, environmental risk, human health risk assessments, and greenhouse gas lifecycle assessments, to ensure a considered, evidence-based proposal could be put to the EPA.

This is a significant outcome as only five of these plants have been approved in Australia. This approval reflects the dedication and capability of our team and SMEC’s commitment to working collaboratively with our clients to develop renewable energy solutions.

“I have visited waste-to-energy plants in Europe and seen this technology in action. They have the potential to reduce waste sent to landfill by up to 80 percent, or up to 95 per cent when, as is proposed for the facility, ash products are diverted from landfill for beneficial reuse by the construction industry,” said Lukas McVey, SMEC’s National Manager – Waste. “This plant is another step towards Australia’s renewable energy future and implementation of a circular economy.”