EnergyAustralia and Re.Group have unveiled the selection of potential technology and an engineering contractor for an Australian-first energy recovery project proposed for the Mt Piper power station in New South Wales.

The companies said detailed planning and assessment of the project would be based around thermal waste treatment and flue-gas cleaning technology supplied by Steinmüller Babcock Environment (SBE), part of the NSENGI group (Nippon Steel & Sumikin Engineering). The SBE technology is well-proven having been commonly used for decades in these types of applications around the world.

EnergyAustralia and Re.Group have also entered a preliminary agreement, or an early contractor involvement contract, with RCR Energy, a subsidiary of diversified engineering and infrastructure company RCR Tomlinson.

Findings from a first-phase assessment announced in December 2017 found an energy recovery project at Mt Piper is technically and economically viable and could generate reliable baseload electricity supply for an additional 40,000 homes in New South Wales without having to burn more coal.

The investigation cleared the way for energy recovery to proceed to the next stage of development, including preparation of a comprehensive study of environmental impacts.

EnergyAustralia Head of Assets, Julian Turecek, said selecting the technology and engineering contractor support would help complete the studies, which will be based on similar facilities in other countries.

“It makes good sense to look at options like energy recovery to broaden Mt Piper’s fuel supply, supporting the plant’s long-term operation. And not only could our energy recovery project mean more local jobs, it would increase the state’s supplies of reliable power,” Mr Turecek said.

“Energy recovery is a great example of the thinking and innovation that will come to underpin a new, modern energy system in Australia.”

Re.Group Managing Director, David Singh, said technology selection brings the project a step closer to capturing the energy resource within some of the millions of tonnes of material that is currently going to landfill in New South Wales.

“In operation this project could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by the equivalent of more than 200,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year, while also reducing the need to develop more landfills,” Mr Singh said.

A final decision on the project is scheduled for 2020. If it proceeds, the Mt Piper energy recovery project could make its first power in 2022.

Lauren Butler

Lauren ‘LJ’ Butler is the Assistant Editor of Utility magazine and has been part of the team at Monkey Media since 2018.

After completing a Bachelor of Media, Communications and Professional Writing at the University of Wollongong in 2014, and prior to writing about the utility sector, LJ worked as a Journalist and Sub Editor across the horticulture, hardware, power equipment, construction and accommodation industries with publishers such as Glenvale Publications, Multimedia Publishing and Bean Media Group.

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