New Wollert plant turns waste into energy

Northern Star Weekly
26 June 2017
Laura Michell

An artist's impression of the facility in Wollert. Picture: Yarra Velley Water.

An artist’s impression of the facility in Wollert. Picture: Yarra Velley Water.

A new Wollert recycling plant can produce enough renewable energy to power up to 25 per cent of Yarra Valley Water’s overall energy requirements.

Yarra Valley Water’s $27 million Waste to Energy facility on Craigieburn Road East will recycle organic waste – such as food scraps that would otherwise be bound for landfill – into renewable energy.

The facility is the first of its kind in Victoria.

Yarra Valley Water managing director Pat McCafferty said the amount of energy produced by the new facility would be enough to power the Wollert facility and an adjacent sewage treatment plant and then export surplus electricity to the grid.

The facility is based on similar plants around the world.

“While similar facilities are in place in other parts of the world, a great deal of work was needed to determine whether we could make a facility of this kind a success in the Australian market,” Mr McCafferty said.

Plant manager Damien Bassett said the facility used liquid and solid food waste generated during manufacturing processes at commercial food businesses, as well as liquids such as fats and oils from restaurants.

He said the facility had the capacity to process up to 33,000 tonnes of waste a year.

Water Minister Lisa Neville, who opened the facility last week, said it was a great example of how Victoria’s water authorities were meeting the challenges of the future.

Eighteen jobs were created during the construction of the facility, with four new staff now operating the plant.

Reference

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