A potential investment pipeline of $7.8 billion has been outlined by the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) for use on Australia’s waste, bioenergy, recycling and resource recovery sectors.
The five-year outlook was identified in a CEFC report called ‘Energising resource recovery: The Australian opportunity’.
The CEFC is a statutory authority established by the Australian Government under the Clean Energy Finance Corporation Act 2012, which aims to facilitate increased finance flows to the clean energy sector.
For the quarrying sector, CEFC’s lead on waste and bioenergy Mac Irvine told Quarry an upscaling of infrastructure using recycled aggregates would create more opportunities for the sector to contribute.
“We anticipate investment in recycling and resource recovery infrastructure will lead to a greater uptake of recycled materials into building products, concrete and aggregates, which when used with quarried materials will increase sustainability outcomes as well as ensuring industry specifications and standards are met,” Irvine said.
CEFC chief executive officer Ian Learmonth said the industry is evolving rapidly, by choice and necessity.
“Australia’s recycling and resource recovery sector is undergoing considerable transformation, driven by global market pressures, evolving consumer preferences and an increasing focus on reducing our carbon footprint,” Learmonth said.
“As an experienced investor in the bioenergy, recycling and energy from waste sectors, we see immediate and important investment opportunities in recycling and resource recovery, drawing on proven technologies with the potential to deliver long-term economic and environmental benefits.”
The CEFC report said the investment pipeline could create up to 9000 construction jobs, 2600 indirect jobs and 1400 direct and ongoing jobs.
Some examples Irvine used of quarried aggregates getting involved were at the Cleanaway ResourceCo Resource Recovery Facility in Sydney’s Wetherill Park, as well as in large-scale thermal energy facilities.
“The Cleanaway facility, which has received CEFC support, not only produces process engineered fuel (PEF) – a fuel that can offset fossil fuel usage in cement kilns, for example – but some of the waste received at the facility is inert material like rocks, bricks and aggregate that can be recycled,” Irvine said.
“Large-scale thermal energy from waste facilities produce by-products, like bottom ash, which can be recycled into aggregates for construction.”