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Opal gains $48M for its Energy from Waste project at Maryvale

Federal Member for Gippsland Darren Chester with (L-R), Edward Nicholas, Executive Director, Masdar Tribe Australia, Adrian Berton, Group General Manager Opal Australian Paper, David Jettner, Opal: General Manager Corporate Development & Strategic Projects, Nathaniel Bryant, Veolia: Deputy Chief Operating Officer – Waste, and Craig Dunn, Opal: General Manager Public Relations and Sustainability.

The Maryvale Energy from Waste project at Opal Australian Paper’s Maryvale Mill, in Victoria, has been given $48.2m in grant funding helping to power Opal’s pulp and paper mill while driving down emissions. Source: Timberbiz

By diverting about 325,000 tonnes a year of non-recyclable waste from landfill and reusing it to generate electricity, this project will drive down emissions and help improve energy security – while at the same time decarbonising the Maryvale Mill, Australia’s leading manufacturer of pulp and paper.

The project will involve a total investment of more than $600 million, creating more than 500 jobs per annum during construction and support 450 Victorian jobs including flow-on once operational. Construction is targeted to commence in 2022 with the facility to start operations in late 2025.

The Federal Member for Gippsland Darren Chester said the project would support local jobs and help boost the region’s economy.

“The Maryvale Mill is one of the Latrobe Valley’s biggest employers and supporting the modernisation of the facility and major investment secures jobs now and into the future,” Mr Chester said.

“The Latrobe Valley will undergo a significant transition as we move towards more renewable forms of energy so investment in newer industries and lower emissions will help with energy security and the local economy.

“The Energy from Waste project will also help to reduce the amount of rubbish going to landfills every year and help to offset the emissions from the Mill,” he said.

“Opal, Masdar Tribe and Suez are showing great innovation and commitment to our region and I look forward to seeing the project get underway and the boost it brings to the Latrobe Valley and Gippsland.”

The 2022-23 Budget demonstrated the ongoing commitment to manufacturing with an additional $1 billion for the Federal Government’s Modern Manufacturing Strategy.

The Nationals Member for Eastern Victoria Region, Melina Bath said the announcement was a much-needed boost which was great for jobs and the environment.

“A venture I have backed for years, the EfW project establishes the Maryvale Mill as a leader in Australia’s circular economy, securing its place as the largest private employer in our region well into the future,” she said.

“Gippsland manufacturers are world class, and it is wonderful to see public and private investment to build jobs, invest in innovation and develop expertise in Latrobe Valley.

“At a time when a sustainable industry like the native timber industry is under attack from the Andrews Government’s, it is fantastic to see the Federal Government backing local manufacturing and securing jobs now and into the future.”

AFPA Chief Executive Officer Ross Hampton said the grant, through the Federal Government’s Modern Manufacturing Initiative, was an acknowledgement of the bright future for Australia’s pulp, paper and fibre packaging industries, and recognition of the opportunities for our advanced manufacturing facilities to accelerate decarbonisation and drive circular economy outcomes.

“The Maryvale Energy from Waste facility will recover valuable energy from 325,000 tonnes of material that would otherwise be sent to landfill every year. It provides a sustainable and efficient waste management solution and reduces greenhouse gas emissions,” Mr Hampton said.

“We congratulate the consortium partners including Opal Australian Paper, Veolia and Masdar Tribe Australia on their success, and welcome this important contribution from the Australian Government.

“We also acknowledge and thank the Member for Gippsland Darren Chester for his ongoing support of the forest industries supply chain.”