Councils surrounding Ballarat are keen to offload their rubbish destined for landfill at the city’s potential waste to energy facility.
City of Ballarat signed a non-binding agreement with Malaysian Resources Corporation Berhad (MRCB) on Friday for a Ballarat West Employment Zone plant.
Members of the Grampians Central West Waste and Resource Recovery Group (GCWWRRG) have flagged interest in the $300 million build, depending on costs.
GCWWRRG chief exective La Vergne Lehmann said the group was supportive, but there was “a lot of work to do to get the required [waste] feed stocks to make sure the plant” was practical.
MRCB have stated the plant could transform up to 400,000 tonnes of waste per year. Ballarat currently only produces 30,000 tonnes of rubbish for landfill each year.
“It’s going to be important to work with councils in the region and probably some western Melbourne councils, to get those required feed stocks in place to ensure the project is viable,” Ms Lehmann said. “It remains to be seen what the gate fee for the waste to energy plant would be at this point.”
“Transport is always a significant cost in regional areas, so the decision as to where you send it will certainly depend on the transport costs out of that.”
If green-lit following a 120-day feasibility study on the site, construction on the plant could begin in August next year, with the facility operational by 2022.
Pyrenees Shire Council CEO Jim Nolan said he was encouraged by MRCB’s “innovative technology and proven experience”.
“Whilst Pyrenees waste collection and disposal is currently under contract, Council anticipates that as the W2E plant comes on line, this will present a cost effective solution for Pyrenees to participate, and we have had discussions with the City [of Ballarat] about what such an agreement might look like in future,” he said.
“It provides a cost effective long term solution to waste disposal where currently we are reliant on landfill which is becoming significantly more challenging.”
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