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Australian Paper taps Japanese bank for $600m EfW project

Paper manufacturer Australian Paper and waste management company SUEZ project have appointed Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC) – Japan’s second largest bank – as financial advisor for their $600 million Energy from Waste (EfW) facility in the Latrobe Valley.

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  Artist's impression of Australian Paper's proposed EfW project, Latrobe Valley VIC

Australia’s only manufacturer of office and packaging papers - which is owned by Japanese pulp and paper giant Nippon Paper Industries - said SMBC would bring “significant EfW sector experience” to the project.

The EfW proposal was suspended earlier this year following an appeal by local environmental groups. After agreeing to tighten pollution controls, Australian Paper was reissued a Works Approval notice for the proposed plant at its Maryvale mill in the Latrobe Valley. 

David Jettner AP
 David Jettner, Australian Paper 

“SMBC will contribute additional commercial expertise to our project during a critical development phase,” said David Jettner, Australian Paper GM Corporate Development. “As Financial Advisor, SMBC will provide specialised support for project development and establish debt financing facilities as we seek to build a missing link in Victoria’s waste management infrastructure.

“We are now moving forward to secure waste through the Metropolitan and Gippsland Waste and Resource Recovery Groups tendering processes, establish contractual Engineering, Procurement and Construction arrangements and arrange funding for our project," Jettner said. "SMBC will play a vital role in helping us to successfully navigate our way through these processes. They will also provide sectorial experience to the project as the Mandated Lead Arranger with 15 successful EfW projects internationally including the Kwinana EfW project in WA." 

SUEZ State GM Victoria Nat Bryant said: “Currently less than 1% of Australia’s residual waste is used for energy recovery and landfill remains the only option for household waste from South East Melbourne and Gippsland. With the closure of the Hampton Park landfill by 2025 our project would provide a vital solution to S.E. Melbourne’s impending waste management crisis.”

SUEZ brings global expertise from the construction, waste consolidation and operation of EfW plants, managing 54 facilities worldwide.

“Our facility remains the first EfW project in Victoria to achieve an EPA Works Approval and along with SUEZ and SMBC, we are excited to move a step closer to making our vision for Latrobe Valley energy production from residual household waste a reality,” said Jettner.

Australian Paper says the EfW project would reduce its reliance on imported gas and electricity, stabilise its energy future and support ongoing investment at the Maryvale mill site.