$9.4m bioenergy project in regional WA to turn local waste into energy


Renergi Pty Ltd, a spin off company from Curtin University, has received $3.9 million in funding from ARENA for the development of the next phase of its energy from waste technology in Collie, Western Australia.

Supported by the Shire of Collie and with $2 million from the WA Government’s Collie Futures Industry Development Fund, the collaborative project will see Renergi construct and operate a new waste-to-energy demonstration plant that will incorporate the company’s patented grinding pyrolysis technology.

The $9.4 million demonstration plant will convert 4,000 tonnes per year of municipal solid waste, which would otherwise go to landfill, and 8,000 tonnes per year of forestry and agricultural wastes to crude pyrolysis oil and biochar.

The bio-oil will be sold to local industrial customers as a liquid fuel to generate industrial heat, while the biochar will be sold to WA farmers as a soil conditioner.

ARENA CEO Darren Miller said the project could open up opportunities for regional communities to convert their waste into fuel.

“Renergi’s project aims to solve some of the current waste disposal problems that are affecting our local councils,” Mr Miller said.

“Renergi’s technology will demonstrate the viability of a scalable distributed energy from waste process, which will use low value waste to displace fossil fuels and thereby helping to reduce emissions.

“While other energy from waste projects are focused on incineration at large centralised plants, Renergi’s technology is a potential waste treatment solution for regional and smaller towns.”

Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan said the project is expected to create up to 10 jobs during construction and up to 10 jobs once the plant is fully operational, as well as generate flow on economic, social and environmental benefits for Collie and the wider WA community.

“In addition to the 20 construction and operational jobs, the project will generate a range of other economic and employment benefits for Collie from the sale of its products,” Ms MacTiernan said.

“The McGowan Government is committed to supporting sustainable energy projects that create jobs and help diversify the WA economy.”

The facility, which is to be co-located with the Shire of Collie’s landfill site, is expected to be operating within two years.

Image credit: https://arena.gov.au/