ABB to help convert waste into sustainable energy in WA

ABB Australia Pty Ltd

Tuesday, 27 October, 2020

ABB to help convert waste into sustainable energy in WA

Cleantech company Hitachi Zosen Inova (HZI) Australia has selected three ABB ACF5000 analysers as part of a complete continuous emission monitoring (CEM) solution to accurately monitor the composition of exhaust gases at its new large-scale East Rockingham Waste-to-Energy facility, located 45 km south of Perth, Western Australia.

High-tech facilities like this waste-to-energy plant address two major challenges facing Australia because they deliver sustainable and affordable solutions for both electricity generation and waste management, according to the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), which provided support for the project via grant funding.

The plant will generate 29 MW of electricity for the local state-owned electricity grid, more than 50% of it deemed to be renewable. This is enough capacity to power 40,000 homes from an annual feedstock of up to 330,000 tonnes of municipal, industrial and commercial waste. The by-products from the incineration process will be used to build roads and produce construction materials, ensuring that 70,000 tonnes of bottom ash will not go to landfill.

The success of the $511 million project is vital to improve waste diversion rates. Perth is built on a sandy coastal plain and heavily reliant on groundwater as its primary source of potable water, so when existing landfill sites reach capacity, new metropolitan area landfill sites are unlikely to be approved.

ABB says its multi-component gas analysers will help the plant operator control the cost of compliance, remove complexity and maximise profit while operating in a sustainable way. Digital service technology will be a key feature of the project, particularly ABB Ability Condition Monitoring for measurement devices which will enable ABB to provide remote support during commissioning, start-up and throughout the analysers’ lifecycle. This means ABB will contribute expert engineering input without visiting the site, enabling condition-based maintenance instead of schedule-based maintenance, with interaction secured by ABB’s cybersecurity technologies.

“We are pleased to have selected ABB for this project as they share our mission to deliver sustainable solutions for a better environment,” said Dr Marc Stammbach, Country Sales Manager of Hitachi Zosen Inova Australia.

In addition to developing and constructing the state-of-the-art facility in the Rockingham Industrial Zone, which will be the second largest of its kind to be built in Australia, HZI will also part-own and co-operate it. Waste-to-energy projects attract the highest level of assessment by environmental regulators, so having the combination of ABB’s gas analysers and expert services will help ensure maximum up-time, regulatory compliance and continued profitable operations, according to the company. ABB says that its CEM systems consistently achieve in excess of 98% up-time.

“ABB is excited to be involved in this groundbreaking waste-to-energy project that helps reduce the environmental impact of waste management and supports our vision for a more sustainable world,” said Adrian Mather, head of ABB's Measurement & Analytics division for ABB in Australia. “Our analytics offering, local capabilities and domain expertise enable us to make a significant contribution across the project value chain from engineering and project execution to lifecycle support."

Once operational in December 2022, the new plant and its process is expected to achieve 96% diversion from landfill. This will make a significant environmental impact given that more than 23 million tonnes of waste goes into Australian landfill every year, with Western Australia having the highest waste generation rate per capita, coupled with the lowest recovery rate, of any state in Australia.

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