Masdar and Tribe
Image credit: Masdar

UAE-headquartered clean energy company Masdar and advisory and development firm Tribe Infrastructure are to establish a joint venture in Australia to develop utility-scale energy-from-waste (EfW) projects.

Each year approximately 27 million tonnes of waste is landfilled in Australia, yet there are currently no utility-scale energy from waste plants operating in the country.

Australia, therefore, represents an attractive market for investment in the EfW as part of a wider push to help decarbonise the country’s economy.

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Waste to energy
Decarbonisation

The announcement was made by Christopher Pyne, former Australian Defence Minister, and Abdullah Al Subousi, UAE Ambassador to Australia.

“Tribe and Masdar have the distinction of being the first companies to ink contracts that actively engage in business activity in Australia as part of the Australia UAE Business Council,” said Pyne.

“The joint venture agreement between Masdar and Tribe for turning waste into energy is only the beginning of the relationship that the two companies will have across Australia.”

Al Subousi added: “Masdar has been a great champion of the energy-from-waste sector. We are honoured to see Masdar and Tribe come together to establish a joint venture company and I hope this can pave the way for future collaboration in additional sectors.”

Masdar chief executive Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi said the Australian energy-from-waste sector “provides excellent potential in the long-term” and added that “the signing of this agreement will further support Australia’s roadmap towards a low-carbon future”.

Tribe’s CEO Peter McCreanor said: “Energy from waste is safe, reliable and affordable and we’re pleased to be at the forefront of bringing this technology to Australia. We look forward to delivering sustainable waste management solutions that provide superior environmental outcomes and make sound economic sense.”

In January 2020, Masdar and Tribe announced that they had acquired a 40% stake in the East Rockingham Waste to Energy project in Perth, Western Australia.

Construction on the AUS$511 million greenfield facility, which is located in the Rockingham Industry Zone, 40 kilometres south of Perth, is ongoing and the plant is expected to be operational in late 2022.

When completed, East Rockingham WTE will process 300,000 tonnes per year of non-recyclable residual 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 roadbase and other construction materials. The facility will generate 29MW of baseload renewable energy, enough to power more than 36,000 homes, and displace more than 300,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions per year.

In October 2020, Opal Australian Paper and SUEZ Australia and New Zealand announced that Masdar and Tribe have joined them as additional equity partners for the development of the Maryvale EfW facility in Victoria.

The Maryvale EfW project will divert approximately 325,000 tonnes of non-recyclable residual waste from landfill and reuse it to generate steam and electricity to replace natural gas and coal fired electricity.

Masdar and Tribe are both founding members of the Australia United Arab Emirates Business Council, which was recently established to increase collaboration between the two countries.