A KEY figure in Australia’s Bioenergy sector believes the City of Ballarat must be considering the construction of a facility for the employment zone in the city’s west.
The option of getting heat supply to the front door of the premises in BWEZ that is a stable price with no nasty shocks coming into the future is what will help some of the decisions about business coming here.- Andrew Lang
While such a facility has been discussed for BWEZ into the future, it is not expected the plant would be built in the immediate future. At the same time a number of businesses are already looking at moving into the site.
World Bioenergy Association vice president & board member for Australasia-Oceania Andrew Lang said the introduction of a facility that could produce heat for local business would attract industry to the zone.
“Industries who do use heat are mostly getting it from natural gas, which has at least doubled in price and is expected to go much much higher,” he said.
“People who are committed to doing things with heat are looking at this and their economics are really strained. The option of getting heat supply to the front door of the premises in BWEZ that is a stable price with no nasty shocks coming into the future is what will help some of the decisions about business coming here.”
“They don’t have that option now unless they do it all themselves.” If constructed in BWEZ, the facility would also be about the deal with some of the waste problems the city currently faces. In particular it would help deal with the large amounts of green waste expected to be created when a green waste service is introduced.
City of Ballarat acting chief executive Natalie Reiter said the construction of a bioenergy facility was on the agenda. “We know that for us to achieve the benefits that are available we have to begin planning now,” she said. “Our waste strategy is all heading down that path.” Ms Reiter said green waste that will be collected once the service will be introduced will be looked at to decide what uses it may have. She said a number of multi national companies had requirements surrounding environmental sustainability which would also attract them to the zone if such a facility comes to fruition.
The use of such a facility is almost standard practise across Europe and North America according to Mr Lang. “The technology is all there, the expertise in the country is all there,” he said.
“I think this would be a really important thing for the city to look at.”
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