Tacit approval for Lancelin incinerator

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Reclaimed Energy Australia has put forward a proposal to build a pyrolysis plant in Lancelin but is also looking at two other sites.

THE Shire of Gingin has applied for permission to lease land to a company wanting to build a pyrolysis plant in Lancelin.

The company Reclaimed Energy Australia has presented its proposal to construct a pyrolysis plant to heat at high temperatures tyres, plastics and waste oil to make base products such as carbon black, oil, steel and gas at the Lancelin landfill site.

Shire of Gingin chief executive officer Jeremy Edwards said the council had indicated it may be interested in the proposal.

Mr Edwards said the shire was seeking permission from the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage for permission to lease the site, as the council did not have a vesting order permitting it to lease the land.

He said if the department approved leasing of the land and processing a development application at the site the proposal could be considered by the council.

Doug Chamberlain from Reclaimed Energy Australia said it was proposed the the plant would accept and collect the waste materials and then the pyrolysis process would result in the base products.

With further processing these base products will result in the production of diesel, palletised carbon black, blocked scrap steel, and bitumen as well as the generation of electricity,’’ he said.

“The gases produced during this process will then be reused –  effectively making the plant self-generating.

“The commercial value of the recovered base products will enable the plant to be a viable commercial operation.’’

Mr Chamberlain said he wanted to set up a pyrolysis plant in Lancelin to provide long term stable employment to the region.

But he also said Lancelin was one of three locations being considered.

“The approval process will need to run the normal course – I would wish this to be a prompt process however, similar project have taken over 12 months.

“We have completed all due diligence and are ready to proceed once approvals have been granted we envisage construction time to be nine months.’’

The company’s proposal said the operation would employ labourers, office staff, fitters, truck drivers, plant machine operators, an industrial chemist, an electrician and also a mechanic.

Opponents of pyrolysis say the term is just another word for incinerator but Mr Chamberlain said incinerators created pollution and gave nothing back while pyrolysis was the deconstruction of a product to its base materials allowing for the materials to be re-utilised or sold enabling the recycling to economically viable.

The Waste-to-Energy Research and Technology Council website said pyrolysis could be defined as the thermal decomposition of organic material through the application of heat without the addition of extra air or oxygen.

“Although pyrolysis can be considered as an alternative to reduce waste volume and a method for obtaining energy from wastes, it ‘appears to be best suited for processing organic feedstocks with high heat value’,’’ the website said.

In March 2014 while referring to a waste-to-energy proposal for Perth’s eastern suburbs international waste expert Paul Connett said pyrolysis gasification was a hyped-up technology being promoted across the world.
Dr Connett said waste incineration had a poor track record overseas resulting in public health impacts and a major economic burden on the communities who sent waste to them.
“Despite an intensive global rebranding of incinerators as new ‘green technology’ the industry green wash cannot disguise the fact that the incineration technology has not changed,’’ he said.