A refreshing change in resource recovery discussions...welcome to AIEN’s Waste to Energy Forum

29 February 2016

Waste-to-energy technologies can provide a solution to increase the diversion from landfill of post-recycled waste, whilst also creating renewable energy and other viable by-products. This issue is fast becoming a priority for the industry in Australia.

Guest speaker from Germany, RTT STEINERT's Managing Director - Hendrik Beel

The Australian Industrial Ecology Network (AIEN) provided the industry with a landmark event to bring some of the most relevant topics and speakers in the world together this month.

Welcome to The Australian Waste to Energy Forum held in Ballarat, Australia (17-18 February 2016).

A mix of delegates and speakers arrived in Ballarat on the evening of 16 February (some had flown in that day from around the world, including RTT STEINERT’s MD Hendrik Beel from Germany) to attend the STEINERT sponsored Welcome Reception. All who were there were treated to a relaxing and entertaining evening of industry trivia (hosted by STEINERT Australia’s Kurt Palmer), live music and networking (and a few gift/prize takeaways) in preparation for the busy days ahead…

The first day of the conference saw the official opening from the Mayor of Ballarat and then went on to present the key note international speakers Dr Stuart Wagland of Cranfield University (UK) ‘Recovering value from waste: assessing the options and understanding the role of energy from waste in sustainable waste management’ and then oto Walter Howard from Westinghouse Plasma Corporation (North America) who spoke on ‘Evolution of waste and it’s management’.

This latest industry event provided the audience with a variety of respected industry professional’s from around Australia and the world, delivering an exceptional and entertaining topical programme.  The Conference Programme focussed on educating end-users about successfully incorporating waste to energy in their waste strategies, developing RFP’s, project financing and industry best practice – and as one well-known speaker reminded us – begin with the end in mind (see the presentation from Mike Haywood from Sustainable Resource Solutions).

Following the opening, were a series of presentations under the banner of SELECTING THE RIGHT TOOLS FOR THE JOB with a running sheet of speakers that read like a ‘who’s who’ of the WTE global community.  Guest speakers in these sessions included:

Dr Marc Stammbach (Hitachi Zosen Inova) NSW, Brendan Doherty (Southern Metropolitan Regional Council) WA, Andy Street (SLR Consulting Limited) UK, Prof Dr Gerhard Janssen (Martin BioPower) WA, Ken Willis (Westinghouse Plasma Corporation) North America, David Robertson (DRTC Ltd) UK.

The sessions that day concluded with for case studies of waste to energy projects currently operating in Australia., Dwayne Pretli (Downer Utilities) VIC, Mark McKenzie (Freelance Waste Advisor) NSW, Heather Bone (Otrecycle) QLD and Bevan Dooley (Integrated Green Energy) NSW.

At the end of each section a lively and informative panel discussion provided delegates the opportunity to get up close and personal with the presenters for more detailed responses in regards to their presentations.

That evening, guests had the opportunity to unwind at the Conference Dinner, where again AIEN provided all with an entertaining networking environment of live music and gourmet 3 course dinner, whilst also hosting the author of Conscious Marketing, Carolyn Tate who delivered her thought-provoking TEDx presentation “Profit on Purpose: The Solution to the Culture Crisis”.

The last day of the conference on the 18 February, saw four clear themes that were addressed by respective industry professionals. They were:

BEGIN WITH THE END IN MIND

FAILURE TO PLAN IS PLANNING TO FAIL

THE IN’S AND THE OUT’S

THE BOTTOM LINE

Hendrik Beel from RTT STEINERT spoke at ‘The In’s and Out’s’ session with a technical solution approach that explained how the removal of high value recyclables not only adds income streams to a project but can also increase its appeal in terms of environmental impact and outcomes. In addition, he went on to demonstrate how the elimination of harmful and problematic materials can reduce capital and infrastructure costs of downstream plant and increase the “up time” of operations.  STEINERT continues to develop new and enhance existing sorting and separation technologies in response to the demands of the global resource recovery sector and was highlighted in this presentation.

The newly-minted Australian Waste to Energy Forum was definitely a success and has put the discussion of WTE solutions firmly on the map for the Australian resource recovery industry to consider. It provided opportunities for all attending companies to gain visibility and exposure in an interactive networking environment and definitely opened up opportunities to connect with a wide range of industry professionals and key decision makers.  We look forward to seeing this event next year – bigger and better than ever!

Please visit http://aien.com.au/wteforum/program/program-overview/ for a more comprehensive overview of the presentations topics. For further information about future AIEN events or becoming a member, please visit www.aien.com.au.