Overview

On 27 June 2019, Recovered Energy Australia Pty Ltd (REA) submitted a final works approval application to EPA. The application was approved on 21 January 2020.

The works approval is for the development of a modular gasification waste-to-energy facility which will process 200,000 tonnes/year (+/- 20%) of source separated municipal solid waste (MSW). The MSW will be sourced from council kerbside collections in metropolitan Melbourne.

The facility location is 28 Alex Fraser Drive, Laverton North VIC 3026.

Latest update

Works approval reissued

EPA has issued an amended works approval for the Recovered Energy Australia waste to energy project. The amended approval has been issued in accordance with VCAT orders following a negotiated agreement between Zero Waste Victoria, Recovered Energy Australia, and EPA.

The updated works approval does not change the overall nature or intent of the original but is more specific in some sections. Recovered Energy Australia will need to comply with the requirements of this approval in constructing the facility and will require an EPA licence for its operation.

We continue to value the input from the community of western and metropolitan Melbourne into our assessment processes and encourage the community's future engagement.

The amended works approval is available to view under the 'Supporting documents' section of this page.

EPA’s assessment

Independent technology review

EPA adopted the recommendation of the 20B conference chair report to engage an independent technology reviewer to assess the proposal. Strategen-JBSG’ reviewed the application and provided a report of their findings. These findings were considered and incorporated in EPA’s assessment.

You can view the report in the 'Supporting documents' section of this page.

International best practice

EPA assessed against international best practice standards of the European Union including:

The works approval includes conditions requiring the facility to be designed and operated compliant with these standards.

Independent verification of detailed design and construction

EPA has also instructed REA that they must have an EPA-appointed industrial facilities auditor (or alternative expert approved by EPA) conduct the following:

  • Verification of the final detailed design to provide assurance that it meets the performance criteria specified in the works approval application.
  • Verification the facility has been constructed in accordance with the works approval application and conditions of the works approval.

EPA will not allow the company to commence works on the facility until it has endorsed the auditor’s verification of the detailed design.

EPA will also not allow the company to operate the facility until it has endorsed the auditor’s verification of the construction stage.

Previous updates

Following EPA's issue of a works approval to Recovered Energy Australia Ltd, an application for review of the decision was lodged with the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT).

EPA notes the VCAT hearing process is established and controlled by VCAT – EPA does not set timeframes or requirements for VCAT reviews.


EPA has assessed the works approval application, and on 21 January 2020 issued a works approval to Recovered Energy Australia Pty Ltd, for the waste to energy facility in Laverton North.


Under section 67a of the Environment Protection Act 1970, EPA requested additional time to assess REA’s application.

REA have agreed, allowing the statutory assessment time to be extended to 21 January 2020.

An independent report was prepared following the conference. The report includes recommendations to EPA Victoria for consideration in its assessment of the works approval application.

The conference report is now available in the 'Supporting documents' section on this page.

Due to the number and nature of the submissions, EPA decided to hold a community conference, known as a Section 20B Conference. The conference was held Wednesday 6 November 2019.

EPA appointed an independent facilitator to chair the conference. Following the conference, the independent chair will prepare a report. This is now available in the 'Supporting documents' section on this page.

On 13 September 2019, EPA issued Recovered Energy Australia Pty Ltd with a Notice under section 22 of the Environment Protection Act 1970 to supply further information.

The Notice required the company to provide a formal response to the following matters:

  • Submissions received.
  • MFB referral agency comments.
  • Additional information on the reference facilities relied on in the application.
  • Request for accredited translation of supporting documentation.

The Notice included a due date of 20 September 2019. As the applicant did not provide a response by this date the assessment ‘statutory clock’ was paused until the information was supplied.

On 24 October 2019, EPA accepted the company’s response to the Notice. You can view the response in the ‘Supporting documents’ section. Two documents were provided as commercial-in-confidence.

EPA issued Recovered Energy Australia Pty Ltd with a Notice under section 22 of the Environment Protection Act 1970 to supply further information.

The Notice required Recovered Energy Australia Pty Ltd to provide a formal response to the following matters:

  • Submissions received
  • MFB referral agency comments.
  • Additional information on the reference facilities relied on in the application.
  • Request for accredited translation of supporting documentation.

The Notice included a due date of 20 September 2019. If the applicant does not provide a response by this date the assessment ‘statutory clock’ will pause until the information is supplied. Once EPA receives a response to the Notice it will be made available on this webpage. You can view the section 22 notice and submissions in the 'supporting documents' section.

EPA held a community information event on Monday 19th August from 6-8pm at the Laverton Community Hub. Presentations and materials from the event are available in the supporting documents section of this page.

The application proposes development of a waste-to-energy facility to process 200,000 tonnes/year (+/- 20%) of source separate residual municipal solid waste (MSW). The proposal is designed to deliver approximately 15 MW of electricity to the grid and seeks to divert MSW currently destined for landfill. The proposal utilises a modular system of vertical rotary thermal gasifiers, an advanced thermal treatment technology developed by Zhejiang ECO-WASTE Technology Co., Ltd., China. The proposal is scheduled as A08 (waste to energy) and K01 (Power station).

A public information session is being held at 6 – 7 pm, Monday 5 August 2019 at Laverton Community Hub, 95 Railway Avenue, Laverton VIC 3028.

RSVP info@recoveredenergy.com.au for catering.

A works approval is a statutory approval issued by EPA. It permits, subject to certain conditions, the construction of a plant (such as an industrial facility), installation of equipment or modification of a process.

Approval is required for industrial and waste management works that may result in any of the following:

  • discharge of waste into the environment (air, water or land)
  • an increase in, or alteration to, an existing discharge
  • a change in the way waste is treated or stored.

Our works approval process is designed to ensure the best and most cost-effective environmental outcomes on projects are achieved. Without works approvals there is an increased risk of industrial projects causing pollution and requiring expensive retrofitting. Works approvals are an opportunity to save energy and water, and to reduce waste at the project design stage, creating value for a business.

Public participation is an important principle of the Environment Protection Act 1970 and the works approval process. Accordingly, we invite the public to comment on works approval applications and some types of licence applications over a set consultation period.

During this consultation period, we may hold public open-house information sessions to explain the works approval process and provide information on the works approval application. We consider all such comments during our assessment of these applications. Applications are also referred to other relevant agencies for their review and advice.

The works approval process is designed to identify any community concerns early on and allow prompt resolution. If comments are received from any third parties, we give applicants an opportunity to address the concerns raised. We may also convene a conference of the parties to assist in resolving those concerns.

We complete our assessment taking into account our own technical appraisals, referral agency responses, public comments received and any applicant responses. We will then decide whether to issue a works approval and whether to attach any conditions to the approval.

The Environment Protection Act requires us to make a decision on works approval applications within four months of receiving a complete application, although we aim to complete our determination in three months. We may request further information from the applicant during the process or require an extension of time to complete the assessment.

If an appeal, by the applicant or affected third parties, is made against a works approval decision and/or any conditions attached to a works approval, the appeal will be heard by the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal.

When a works approval has been issued, the applicant must construct the works in accordance with the approved plans and any conditions (which include a completion date for all works). When the works are complete, the applicant must contact EPA to arrange an inspection of them.

In most cases, a licence will then be required for operation of the works. Where appropriate, we will issue a commissioning approval before the licence, to allow startup and testing of initial operations and to confirm compliance with the works approval.

Further information on works approvals and EPA’s works approval process can be found in EPA works approvals(publication 1523).