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Ballarat prepares for Australian Waste to Energy Forum

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Ballarat prepares for Australian Waste to Energy Forum

Ballarat is host to this year’s Australian Waste to Energy Forum, themed ‘on the road to recovery’. The forum is a chance for the growing waste-to-energy (WtE) industry to discuss developments and address two key areas: the application of waste hierarchy fundamentals; and changing perceptions about WtE facilities and their role within an integrated waste management strategy.

The forum comes at a time of great opportunity for the WtE industry in Australia. With increasing landfill levies and a growing awareness of the role that WtE can play in solving key issues of waste diversion and energy supply in Australia, there are already several projects underway.

The program features topics such as the role of WtE in a circular economy, anaerobic digestion, licence to operate, current project updates, project development considerations, and future opportunities and developments.

On day one, keynote speaker Toby Terlet (Veolia Project Director of the Kwinana WtE facility) will share his experience dealing with the challenges faced by a WtE facility in Tyseley, UK, including major upgrade works at the same time as industrial action, heavy snow and a declining national public sector budget.

His presentation will discuss how Veolia worked proactively through the challenges with City of Birmingham to further cement the successful long-standing partnership, resulting in a 5-year contract extension.

Day two’s keynote speaker, Johnny Stuen (Technical Director of Oslo Kommune/Waste to Energy Agency, City of Oslo), will provide an overview of the waste management system in Oslo, volumes technology and development work. He will also cover how the source sorting system works, giving a detailed overview of technology, concept and market work for the biological treatment of organic waste in the system. He will also address regulative processes, development processes and further work.

Other program highlights will include the ARENA Bioenergy Roadmap Engagement Session, where attendees will have the opportunity to contribute to the development of a roadmap to identify the role that the bioenergy sector can play in Australia’s energy transition and in helping Australia meet its emission reduction obligations; a session where a number of Victorian Councils will share their future plans for WtE; and another session focused on how to develop small-scale technologies that provide return on investment.

“One of the biggest WtE challenges is lack of access to information necessary to make informed and considered investment decisions, so before looking at technologies, people need to understand their waste stream, moisture levels, quantity and calorific value, as well as the type of offtakes they hope to produce,” Forum Chair Barry Sullivan said.

“The committee and conference host — the Australian Industrial Ecology Network — intend to foster that understanding with our event.”

What: Australian Waste to Energy Forum

When: 18–20 February 2020

Where: Mercure Ballarat Hotel and Convention Centre

Web: aien.com.au/wteforum/

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/tonefotographia

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