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Australian Paper’s radical solution to power crisis

Wednesday, 04 July 2018
By Print 21 Online Article
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Australian Paper’s mill at Maryvale, VIC.

Australia’s only manufacturer of office, printing and packaging papers plans to build a $600 million power plant that would burn household rubbish to power its Maryvale paper mill and sell excess energy back to the grid.

Australian Paper says the Energy from Waste project would be built next to its Maryvale facility in Victoria’s Latrobe Valley and would burn hundreds of thousands of tonnes of non-hazardous household rubbish to generate 225 megawatts of electricity. 

The company has received $5 million in state and federal funding to conduct a feasibility study of the project and says it could go ahead within five years, if approved.

The plant, which would replace two existing gas-fired boilers, would divert an estimated 650,000 tonnes of waste from landfill each year. It would not burn recyclables.

“One of our immediate priorities is to stabilise our costs and one of the most significant focus areas is energy,” Australian Paper says in a statement. “Despite being Victoria’s largest generator of baseload renewable energy, we are the largest industrial user of natural gas in Victoria and also use significant quantities of coal-fired electricity. Like any other business or household in Australia, we are exposed to surges in energy prices and uncertainty of supply.

“Australian Paper is proposing to develop a 225-megawatt thermal Energy from Waste (EfW) plant adjacent to the existing AP Maryvale Pulp and Paper Mill site on land owned by AP in the Latrobe Valley, Victoria. The aim of the proposed $600m EfW plant is to allow AP to attain a sustainable, long-term and stable alternative base load energy source to provide steam and electricity for the existing Maryvale Mill, which has been manufacturing paper since 1938.”

From Australian Paper’s website.

The company says the benefits of the scheme will include helping to secure the future of the Maryvale Mill – a key employer in the region with approximately 850 staff – and supporting an estimated 1,600 fulltime equivalent (FTE) jobs during the construction phase and 440 FTE jobs during the operational phase (direct and flow on) in Victoria.

It would also cut greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 550,000 tonnes per year, which would be the equivalent of taking more than 100,000 cars off the road.

“We want to address our future energy needs proactively, which is why we are carrying out a comprehensive Energy from Waste (EfW) feasibility study,” says the company.

The study is expected to conclude in mid-2018.

Australian Paper is owned by Japanese-based Nippon Paper Group, one of the 10 largest companies in the global forest, paper and packaging industry, with more than 20 paper mills in Japan and business interests in Asia, Oceania, North and South America and Europe. Australian Paper is Nippon Paper’s largest investment outside Japan.









One Response to “Australian Paper’s radical solution to power crisis”

  1. July 09, 2018 at 11:12 pm,

    Robert Black

    It won’t work!
    It’s cost prohibitive!
    Imagine the environmental consequences!
    Burning off, what a joke!
    We should send it all off (our waste that is) to a 3rd world country! (No, Not China, no longer 3rd world!)
    We should pay someone to take it! Waste that is?
    Oh No! send it to “Central African Republic”, lowest GDP per capita on the Continent, another 3rd world country, I’m sure they will take what we want to discard, then they won’t be 3rd world.

    Just cannot believe the thinking, “Local Councils” looking to export waste and (us) paying for it. when we have feasible and demonstrable solutions for waste management here and throughout Europe.. Never mind the “recycling lies” lies they have been feeding us for years. eg. green, paper and household waste separated by us then dumped unseparated. I would highlight at this point that I am no expert on waste management, but have a sound background in “disposal of waste” in print and home. It obviously includes multiple solutions, one of which is the burning non-toxic waste, recycling of waste, re-using, land- fill and managing consumption, all of which are interdependent.

    The Australian Paper, Maryvale solution should only the beginning of the type of infrastructure we need. It should’ve already been happening, MULTIPLIED BY 10. Single use bags? Didn’t we already tell them about paper solutions.

    Don’t we have the resources, the environmental and the intellectual capacity to to undertake this type of project as a national response to our own waste management issues. Like you, I live, eat and breathe here. I have a home, friends, partner, family, children and grand children, all of whom produce waste and for anyone to suggest that I, you and all like minded people, do not care about the environment and what we produce to sustain our existence, is absolutely ridiculous. We all contribute to this waste mountain.

    What we need is “entrepreneurs, thinkers, doers” who actually create businesses that we need now. Where are the “new” Dick Smith’s, Keith Murdoch’s and Packers (Frank particularly) who actually created or produced something? Probably off creating Apps! Always inspired by Richard Pratt, building an empire on “carton packaging” using recycled material as raw product. Pretty sure he didn’t actually pay for it.

    Where’s the Miner’s Daughter, the Iron Lady when it comes to recycling? Instead of digging everything out of the ground, or taking royalities, for someone else doing the digging,then sending it off to China (what was once a 3rd world country), how about actually creating something tangible in the this space.

    Upon reflection probably getting a little side tracked by the magnitude of the issue, but there is no denying that the Australian Paper, Maryvale initiative is absolutely critical to a “multiple solution” waste management process. Giving electricity back to the grid is an added benefit to all.

    Its sort of sad that the rider of :
    Australian Paper is owned by Japanese-based Nippon Paper Group, one of the 10 largest companies in the global forest, ……

    May have a bearing of the initiative’s success. What with foreign ownership etc.

    I for one hope not as we are happy to sell off everything on top and under our land. I would very much like to have our government\s (State and Federal) actually really look at this project in a holistic manner having a long term strategic approach to the real issue of waste management.

    Good luck to Australian Paper and Maryvale. I wish you every success.

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