120,000 tpa additional freight on Gippsland line - firm proposal

 
  DirtyBallast Chief Commissioner

Location: I was here first. You're only visiting.
The other day I attended an info session on the proposed Energy from Waste (EfW) facility to be constructed 'brownfield' at Australia Paper, Maryvale:
https://www.australianpaper.com.au/about-us/energyfromwaste/

The proposal calls for the delivery of approx. 650,000tpa of household (red bin) waste to the facility. Most of this will come from the south eastern suburbs of  Melbourne to replace landfill. It was mentioned at the info session that approx. 120,000tpa of that waste may be delivered by rail.

It was made clear that the logistics have already been thought out. Apparently, and I'm happy to stand corrected on the exact terminology, the existing Maryvale 'paper train' is allowed to be 1200m long. It commonly runs now at 700m long. Therefore, an additional 500m worth of cars carrying garbage can be attached on the existing empty Down and return empty on the existing loaded Up. This means that the locos will be loaded both ways. There will be no need for a separate train to supply the EfW plant.

AP is firmly fair dinkum in proceeding with the EfW plant; it is only regulatory processes that is preventing shovels in the ground from happening in the next year or so.

To facilitate this project, we can also look forward to a transfer station, possibly including rail siding, 'somewhere' in Melbourne's S.E.

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  skitz Chief Commissioner

The other day I attended an info session on the proposed Energy from Waste (EfW) facility to be constructed 'brownfield' at Australia Paper, Maryvale:
https://www.australianpaper.com.au/about-us/energyfromwaste/

The proposal calls for the delivery of approx. 650,000tpa of household (red bin) waste to the facility. Most of this will come from the south eastern suburbs of  Melbourne to replace landfill. It was mentioned at the info session that approx. 120,000tpa of that waste may be delivered by rail.

It was made clear that the logistics have already been thought out. Apparently, and I'm happy to stand corrected on the exact terminology, the existing Maryvale 'paper train' is allowed to be 1200m long. It commonly runs now at 700m long. Therefore, an additional 500m worth of cars carrying garbage can be attached on the existing empty Down and return empty on the existing loaded Up. This means that the locos will be loaded both ways. There will be no need for a separate train to supply the EfW plant.

AP is firmly fair dinkum in proceeding with the EfW plant; it is only regulatory processes that is preventing shovels in the ground from happening in the next year or so.

To facilitate this project, we can also look forward to a transfer station, possibly including rail siding, 'somewhere' in Melbourne's S.E.
DirtyBallast
120,000 is a long way from 650,000 and note the word 'may'.   Wait and see.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
This is exciting news but how are the other amounts of waste coming to the site and from where?
  RustyRick Chief Commissioner

Location: South West Vic
This is exciting news but how are the other amounts of waste coming to the site and from where?
bevans
Depending on your definition, if you assume SE Melbourne is say 1/3 of the total, that's still a significant amount of rubbish. If it's successful maybe other plants will open.

Rick
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
I think you could be right and having the other plants on the SG would also help a lot.
  mikesyd Chief Commissioner

Location: Lurking
The problem of course will be caused by the NIMBY's - nobody wants the Transfer station near them.

Not to mention those who live close to a siding where said "stink train" has to wait for a cross.
  freightgate Minister for Railways

Location: Albury, New South Wales
Are they talking about a power plant ?
  potatoinmymouth Chief Commissioner

Are they talking about a power plant?
freightgate
Unbelievable Rolling Eyes
  LancedDendrite Chief Commissioner

Location: Trapped in a meeting with Rhonda and Karsten
The problem of course will be caused by the NIMBY's - nobody wants the Transfer station near them.

Not to mention those who live close to a siding where said "stink train" has to wait for a cross.
mikesyd
There'd be no troubles if the transfer station is located in an industrial area... like say eastern Dandenong.

NIMBYs can be ignored - in most cases they make up 30% of the local affected population. Once whatever they're complaining about gets built, they will move on with their lives c.f Skyrail.
  Lockspike Assistant Commissioner

Are they talking about a power plant ?
freightgate
Possibly; or the incinerator's heat used to generate steam to supplement the existing steam supply, paper making using copious amounts of steam
  historian Deputy Commissioner

Are they talking about a power plant ?
Possibly; or the incinerator's heat used to generate steam to supplement the existing steam supply, paper making using copious amounts of steam
Lockspike
Both.

The most economic (and energy efficient) way of making large amounts of low pressure process steam is to generate high pressure steam and then expand it through turbo generators. The necessary low pressure process steam is bled from the turbine at the appropriate pressure stages. The generated electricity can be used to power the factory or sold to the grid. The dual use maximises the energy recovery from the fuel.

(This works because a boiler that produces large quantities of high pressure steam is much more efficient than a boiler producing a moderate amount of low pressure steam. But such a large boiler results in a lot of high pressure steam that must be used somehow. Most of this steam is used to generate electricity, which is profitable itself. A small amount of the high pressure steam is used to produce the required low pressure steam, and you recover most of the heat expanding the high pressure steam to the lower pressure.)

This is perfectly standard technology for users of process steam for around 100 years - I have a book in my collection on the design of steam power stations that was once owned by the APM central library.

What's different here is that the new plant at Maryvale is primarily a power station; the process steam is a by-product. It's a win/win/win/win for Maryvale. They get paid to take the fuel. They sell the generated electricity to the grid. They use the low pressure process steam to make their paper. They can retire their existing steam plant.
  Adogs Chief Train Controller

In some ways, I'm surprised it's taken this long for waste incinerators to become a thing here.  Places like Japan you basically don't have space for landfill - they have strict recycling laws so you have to separate glass, plastic, paper etc, then what would be general garbage here is labelled "combustibles".  Essentially recycle every last thing you can, and burn the rest.

With regard to carbon emissions, the incinerator might not be any worse than landfill - as landfill often ends up producing a lot of methane, especially from food scraps etc that you probably be better going in the green bin.

The smell might not be great, but between the open cut and the regular paper mill operations, Morwell and Traralgon already smell pretty bad.  Going on from that, the question might be whether the potential health effects to nearby residents are legally tolerable... living in Morwell already isn't good for your lungs.
  DirtyBallast Chief Commissioner

Location: I was here first. You're only visiting.
This is exciting news but how are the other amounts of waste coming to the site and from where?
bevans
It is proposed that 55,000tpa will come from Latrobe City, i.e. all of their annual red bin collection, delivered by their existing kerbside collection contractor on the spot. After further subtracting the 120,000tpa delivery by rail, this leaves approx. 475,000tpa delivered by road  from S.E Melbourne. This only equates to 31 B-Doubles per day, which is only a marginal increase in truck traffic to/from the mill.

Landfill sites in S.E. Melbourne are near capacity and slated for closure in the medium term.
  DirtyBallast Chief Commissioner

Location: I was here first. You're only visiting.
Are they talking about a power plant ?
Possibly; or the incinerator's heat used to generate steam to supplement the existing steam supply, paper making using copious amounts of steam
Both.

The most economic (and energy efficient) way of making large amounts of low pressure process steam is to generate high pressure steam and then expand it through turbo generators. The necessary low pressure process steam is bled from the turbine at the appropriate pressure stages. The generated electricity can be used to power the factory or sold to the grid. The dual use maximises the energy recovery from the fuel.

(This works because a boiler that produces large quantities of high pressure steam is much more efficient than a boiler producing a moderate amount of low pressure steam. But such a large boiler results in a lot of high pressure steam that must be used somehow. Most of this steam is used to generate electricity, which is profitable itself. A small amount of the high pressure steam is used to produce the required low pressure steam, and you recover most of the heat expanding the high pressure steam to the lower pressure.)

This is perfectly standard technology for users of process steam for around 100 years - I have a book in my collection on the design of steam power stations that was once owned by the APM central library.

What's different here is that the new plant at Maryvale is primarily a power station; the process steam is a by-product. It's a win/win/win/win for Maryvale. They get paid to take the fuel. They sell the generated electricity to the grid. They use the low pressure process steam to make their paper. They can retire their existing steam plant.
historian
Pretty much. But to be pedantic, IP steam is used in the pulp making process (LP steam is only 380 kPa).

It is proposed that one of the existing three gas fired boilers will be retired, with one of the others to remain on standby. Two of the existing turbines will also be retired. Currently, AP Maryvale is Victoria's largest industrial user of gas (around 8% of total consumption I think?). In terms of electricity generation it typically now produces roughly 40 MW and additionally imports roughly 35MW.
  DirtyBallast Chief Commissioner

Location: I was here first. You're only visiting.
In some ways, I'm surprised it's taken this long for waste incinerators to become a thing here.  Places like Japan you basically don't have space for landfill - they have strict recycling laws so you have to separate glass, plastic, paper etc, then what would be general garbage here is labelled "combustibles".  Essentially recycle every last thing you can, and burn the rest.

With regard to carbon emissions, the incinerator might not be any worse than landfill - as landfill often ends up producing a lot of methane, especially from food scraps etc that you probably be better going in the green bin.

The smell might not be great, but between the open cut and the regular paper mill operations, Morwell and Traralgon already smell pretty bad.  Going on from that, the question might be whether the potential health effects to nearby residents are legally tolerable... living in Morwell already isn't good for your lungs.
Adogs
You've covered a few issues there.

Yes, recycling is better that EfW, but EfW is better than landfill, especially if it is non-recyclables that are processed, which is what this facility will use.

The only objection to the recent EPA approval for the project is from a group from East Gippsland that has concerns about "increased pollution" which, as you correctly point out, is a false claim when one considers the removal of methane emissions.

I am confident that the smell will be a non issue. There will need to be a stockpile of raw material (up to five days worth) but it will be bunded, enclosed and subject to forced and/or induced draft heading towards the incineration process. BTW, Traralgon smells waaaaaay worse than Morwell, since it is normally downwind. Wink

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