The Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA) welcomes and congratulates Australian Paper on its announcement that it will partner with waste management company, Suez, to develop its Maryvale Mill’s Energy from Waste Project, Chief Executive Officer of AFPA, Mr Ross Hampton said.

“Australian Paper has been a leader in creating its own energy to power its operations and this new partnership with Suez heralds the next exciting chapter on this renewable and self-sufficiency energy journey,” Mr Hampton said.

The Australian Paper/Suez partnership follows a $7.5 million feasibility study into the project. The next hurdle is for Australian Paper to secure long-term access to residual waste which would be converted to energy at the new facility.

The project means 650,000 tonnes of waste that would otherwise end up in landfill in Melbourne and Gippsland would be converted to energy to power Australian Paper’s operations. This would potentially allow the return of up to 4 petajoules of natural gas per annum and 30 MWh of electricity to Victoria’s retail energy market.

“This would be a landmark project for Victoria’s and indeed Australia’s energy from waste sector and a realisation of long-term goals and commitments made by Australian Paper as a sustainable user and creator of energy,” Mr Hampton said.

In addition to the energy and environmental benefits of the project, more than 1000 jobs would be supported during the three-year construction period and more than 900 when operational.

Supply arrangements for the facility are targeted to be finalised next year with the project operational by 2024.

“AFPA will be pushing all sides of Federal politics to encourage further investments in bioenergy and alternative energy generation in the lead up to the Federal Election to support our regional manufacturers and workers. Australian Paper and Suez’s announcement demonstrates the excellent progress that can be achieved in this area,” Mr Hampton concluded.