In December 2019, John Laing achieved financial close on the East Rockingham Waste to Energy (‘ERWTE’) in Perth, Australia. The facility addresses two major challenges facing Australia: delivering sustainable and affordable solutions for both electricity generation and waste management.

Key facts:

• John Laing stake: 40%
• Partners: Masdar-Tribe, Acciona, Hitachi Zosen Inova
• Operating life: 40 years plus
• Location: 40km south of Perth, Australia

Australia disposes of over 23 million tonnes of waste to landfill every year, with Western Australia having the highest waste generation rate per capita coupled with one of the lowest recovery rates in the country. There are significant costs to land, air and water associated with landfill. Perth is built on a sandy coastal plan that relies heavily on groundwater as its primary source of potable water. As readily accessible landfill sites reach capacity, and with no new metropolitan landfill sites likely to be approved, it is imperative to adopt other solutions to improve waste diversion rates, and increase the recovery of energy available from waste.

The ERWTE is the second large scale Waste-to-Energy facility to achieve financial close in Australia. It will process up to 300,000 tonnes per annum (‘tpa’) of residual waste and is capable of processing an additional 30,000 tpa of bio-solids from the Perth metropolitan area. It will also produce around 70,000 tpa of bottom ash and 12,000 tpa of flue gas treatment residuals. The bottom ash will be further processed to recover metals and produce an aggregate product that can be used in road base and other construction material applications. This will achieve a 96% diversion from landfill.

The ERWTE will export 28.9 MW of baseload electricity to the grid, of which over 50% is deemed to be renewable. It is expected to create around 300 jobs during construction and 40-50 during operation.

John Laing played an active role in closing and mobilising the project, and is currently acting as a lead sponsor in delivering the project through key roles held in the SPV.