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News // Inaugural National Energy from Waste Symposium – Victoria, Australia

Date // 23rd September 2014

Inaugural National Energy from Waste Symposium – Victoria, Australia

Julie Moriarty, Senior Consultant, Peter J Ramsay & Associates, reports on their contribution to the National Energy from Waste Symposium.

On 23 & 24 July this year, Inogen Associate, Peter J Ramsay was one of the official sponsors at the National Energy from Waste Symposium which was held in Lorne, on the picturesque south coast of Victoria.

The event was the first Energy from Waste conference to be held on a national basis, and drew approximately 200 delegates, from across Australia and internationally. The federal minister for the environment, the Honourable Greg Hunt MP, opened the conference and spoke of Australia's commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Delegates from the conference covered a broad range of expertise in the financial, legal, technical and regulatory sectors of the Energy from Waste (EfW) industry.

The symposium was held at a crucial time in Australia, when state governments are recognizing the need for an EfW industry to help meet their landfill diversion targets. Furthermore, since the gas markets on the east coast of Australia are being opened up to the international market next year, leading to a projected 300% increase in domestic gas prices, industry is now seriously considering alternative forms of energy. The increasing cost of landfilling (over $100/tonne in NSW) is also a driver for industries and local councils to focus on resource recovery options as alternatives to waste disposal.

The major hurdles for EfW facility approvals in Australia is community acceptance, and air emissions. There are also concerns that the EfW industry could potentially 'cannibalize' the recycling industry. In NSW strict resource recovery criteria on certain waste streams are therefore being imposed in addition to the requirement that that all wastes cannot have a higher order re-use.

Peter J Ramsay & Associates provided coffee for delegates in the meeting area of the conference creating an excellent opportunity for them to network and discuss EfW issues over coffee.

Peter J Ramsay & Associates has assisted a number of industrial clients to gain regulatory approvals for the use of manufacturing waste as a feedstock in multi-fuel boilers. The approval process involved assessing the performance of the proposed technologies and the impacts of the facilities on the environment, including air emissions. With the expected increase in development applications for energy from waste facilities, our firm is keen to be at the forefront of this new business sector.

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