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New status for a Tassie idea that wastes no energy.



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Media Release The Hon Ian Macfarlane MP Minister for Industry, Tourism and Resources

29 October 2002

02/2100

NEW STATUS FOR A TASSIE IDEA THAT WASTES NO ENERGY

Tasmania is set to become home to the nation’s first large waste-to-energy facility with today’s announcement the plan has been awarded Major Project Facilitation status by the Commonwealth Government.

The Federal Industry Minister, Ian Macfarlane, today announced the new status while visiting Tasmania. The project will now receive the special attention of the nation’s premier investment attraction agency Invest Australia.

The Australian company, TEST Energy Ltd, is proposing a $100 million waste-to-energy facility. The plant will be capable of turning 180,000 tonnes of mixed municipal, commercial and industrial waste into 16 megawatts of renewable energy every year. That tonnage is capable of supplying power to a town of 16,000 homes.

"This project illustrates that not only does Australia have a natural environmental advantage but also the innovative streak to lead the way in emerging areas like the field of commercialising renewable energy sources," said Mr Macfarlane.

"This project will help with significant greenhouse gas abatement by both avoiding methane emissions from landfill sites and offering an alternative to fossil fuel generation," he said.

Following the success of a feasibility study, jointly funded by the Commonwealth and Tasmanian governments, TEST Energy was able to make the commercial decision to progress with the project at Brighton, near Hobart.

The project proposes to employ up to 280 people during construction with an ongoing staff of about 45 to 60 operation staff. Most of these positions will be filled by Tasmanians.

This is another investment proposal in the emerging renewables energy market that will be encouraged and aided by Australia’s Mandatory Renewable Energy Target (MRET).

Under the MRET electricity retailers must supply 9,500 gigawatt hours per annum from renewable sources by 2010. The proposed test energy facility will generate approximately 16.12 megawatts per hour.

Invest Australia, is now working closely with TEST Energy and the Tasmanian government to progress the project.

Invest Australia contact: Gina Bozinovski (02) 6213 6194 or 0418 643 648

Media contact: Kirsty Boazman 02 6277 7580 0412 171 444

CMR02-270