Masdar has made its first investment in Australia after acquiring a 40 per cent stake in the country’s second utility-scale waste-to-energy (WTE) facility. Masdar made the announcement during Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW) 2020.
Under the terms of the investment, Masdar and leading Abu Dhabi advisory and development firm Tribe Infrastructure Group have invested in the waste-to-energy project via their Abu Dhabi Global Market-based joint venture holding company, Masdar Tribe Energy Holdings Limited.
Niall Hannigan, Chief Financial Officer of Masdar, and Peter McCreanor, Chief Executive Officer of Tribe Infrastructure Group, signed the joint venture holding company agreement at ADSW.
Financial close on the A$511 million greenfield East Rockingham Resource Recovery Facility, which will be located in the Rockingham Industry Zone, 40km south of Perth in Western Australia, was achieved on December 23, 2019, and construction has already started.
When completed, the East Rockingham Resource Recovery Facility will process 300,000 tonnes per year of non-recyclable municipal, commercial and industrial waste and up to 30,000 tonnes of biosolids per year.
The facility will also recover approximately 70,000 TPA of bottom ash, which will be processed for use in road bases and other construction materials. The WTE facility will generate 29 megawatts (MW) of baseload renewable energy, enough to power more than 36,000 homes, and displace more than 300,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions per year.
Equity investors in the project also include UK company John Laing Investments, alongside Acciona Concesiones and Hitachi Zosen INOVA (HZI).
Financing of the project was supported by an A$18 million grant from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) and A$57.5 million in subordinated debt from the Australian government’s Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC).
“Extending our reach into Australia is an exciting step forward for Masdar’s clean energy operations and our efforts to expand the company’s global renewable energy portfolio, which now encompasses more than 30 countries,” said Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, Chief Executive Officer.
He added: “The Australian waste-to-energy sector provides excellent commercial potential in the long-term,” Al Ramahi added. “The problem of dealing with everyday waste is a global challenge, with more than 2 billion tonnes of municipal solid waste generated each year. To this end, we are proud to be helping the state of Western Australia to deliver clean sources of power generation and sustainably manage its municipal solid waste. Masdar would like to thank Austrade, the Embassy of Australia in the UAE, CEFC and ARENA for their assistance in making this investment possible.”
McCreanor said: “We are delighted to announce our long-term partnership with Masdar and look forward to delivering outstanding clean energy infrastructure solutions that make sound economic sense in the communities in which we operate. This is just the first of numerous such development projects we’re working on, and our partnership with Masdar is an integral part of our strategy for Australia.
“We are proud to have played a leading role in the development and financing of the East Rockingham RRF, assembling a world-class team to deliver this important project for Western Australia. We acknowledge all our project partners, particularly Australian Federal Government agencies ARENA and CEFC for their support and commitment in enabling this complex project to reach financial close.”
Under the EPC contract, Acciona will deliver the project in partnership with HZI. Construction is expected to take 35 months and the facility is slated to begin operations by the end of 2022. SUEZ will lead the operations and maintenance of the facility under a 20-year operations and maintenance contract in partnership with HZI.