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Australian renewable energy investment firm, Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) has agreed provide up to AU$50 million ($47 million) in senior debt finance for the development of two waste to energy facilities that will use low temperature gasification in Western Australia.

The facilities are being developed by West Perth, Australia based New Energy Corporation.

According to CEFC CEO, Oliver Yates waste management has been a growing issue in Australia for all levels of government and with recycling rates remaining fairly constant, the country will need to seek solutions to its increasing dependence on landfill.

The investment firm explained that New Energy has two waste to energy gasification projects in advanced stages of development, one at Port Hedland in the Pilbara (pictured in artists impression above) and a second at Rockingham near Perth.

The company added that the facilities will generate cost competitive, base load energy and a lower emissions outcome than current grid electricity sources.

The investor also noted that while both projects will be eligible for Australian Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) for the majority of the energy produced, their financial viability is not reliant on RECs.

The investment is also expected to help to encourage further waste to energy facilities across the country and facilitate access to private sector funding for similar projects in the future which divert waste from landfills, increaserecycling rates, recover energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

CEFC said that its finance for the New Energy facilities takes its total investment in waste-to-energy projects to over $150 million, and that it has another $280 million of waste to energy proposals in its project pipeline that would unlock a further $1.0 billion in additional finance.

Technology

According to New Energy, its low temperature gasification process ‘cooks’ waste over a 16 to 24 hour period at temperatures of between 600°C and 875°C during which small amounts of air and steam are introduced.

This is said to break the molecules in the waste which are converted into a syngas that contains molecules such as methane with a high energy content.

The syngas is combusted to heat water and produce steam, either for use as either heat or for electrical generation. This secondary oxidation stage is said convert the syngas into water vapour and carbon dioxide.

The exhaust gases are cleaned and filtered, which the company said to neutralises acidic gases such as sulphur dioxide, as well as particulates and heavy metals. It is then released to the atmosphere.

The company added that stack emissions are tested continuously and displayed in real time in the control room.

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