Government-owned green bank Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) has committed $75 million in debt finance for a Brisbane development that is set to become Queensland’s flagship construction and demolition (C&D) recycling facility.
The $89 million plant will be located in Pinkenba near the Brisbane Airport, and is expected to deliver 55,363 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent abatement annually - equivalent to taking almost 12,000 cars off the road.
Operated by local waste management company Rino Recycling, the fully automated facility will be able to process more than one million tonnes of C&D waste each year, including concrete, excavation material, vacuum waste and skip bin waste.
According to a World Economic Forum report titled Shaping the Future of Construction: A Breakthrough in Mindset and Technology, less than a third of all construction and demolition waste around the world is recovered and reused.
Last year in Australia, around 29 million tonnes of waste came from the C&D sector – amounting to 38 per cent of all waste generated across the nation.
“This investment helps provide a solution to Australia’s growing waste stream and accelerates our transition to a circular economy by deploying best-in-class technology to further develop our recycling sector,” CEFC CEO Ian Learmonth said.
“It offers an opportunity to deliver important infrastructure to Queensland and comes at a critical time for Brisbane, with the city on the cusp of a construction boom in the count down to the 2032 Olympics.”
Rino Recycling was established by Queensland Recycling Technologies (QRT), a joint venture between Alceon Qld and Edward Bull, the founder and managing director of Direct Commercial Property (DCP). The firm's eight-hectare site in Pinkenba currently processes around 500,000 tonnes of waste per annum.
Rino Recycling managing director Daniel Blaser said the new integrated plant would be one of Australia’s largest for throughput volume - a unit of measurement that determines the amount of material passed through a system.
“What is unique about this plant is that it is fully automated and able to handle many and various waste streams through the plant efficiently, separating the products effectively and creating valuable outputs without the need to rehandle or reprocess,” he added.
The new facility will use global recycling technology from Ireland-based Turmec and CDE from Northern Ireland.
“Brisbane is expected to continue the trend in significant population growth over the next 20 years, in addition to the construction requirements of the 2032 Brisbane Olympic Games,” Rino Recycling director Todd Pepper said.
“The city has a significant pipeline of infrastructure development, including expansion of the Brisbane Airport and the development of the Brisbane city region in the SEQ ‘City deal’.
“The potential for recycling building material in these construction projects is very large, and it’s great to be working with the CEFC to help establish this plant and contribute to a more sustainable Olympics.”
The latest move marks the single largest investment CEFC has made via its $100 million Australian Recycling Investment Fund, and comes almost a year after the green bank injected $7.5 million into e-waste recycling business Scipher.
Other CEFC investments includebiotech Samsara Eco, aviation company MicroTau, and Orange-based Loam Bio, which secured $105 million in a Series B two months ago.
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