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Centre for Sustainable Resource Processing Projects


Information below on previous Centre for Sustainable Resource Processing Projects:

Capturing regional synergies in the Kwinana industrial area (3B1)

In this project the SEG is supporting the further development and implementation of profitable reuses/exchanges of by-products, water, energy, and services between operations in the Kwinana Industrial Area (KIA) (these exchanges as referred to as ‘regional synergies’). The KIA is by far the largest and most diverse industrial processing region (with supporting industries) in Western Australia. As with elsewhere in Australia (and globally), the KIA is facing sustainability challenges on various fronts, including water and energy scarcity, climate change, an aging workforce, and growing community sustainability expectations. Through the Kwinana Industries Council (KIC) the industries within Kwinana are working closely on including the sustainable development of the region.

Through this project, over 120 synergy opportunities have been identified through four activities: a resource and process flow database, focused opportunity identification workshops, on-site company visits, international collaborative research.

Future industrial ecology research at Kwinana includes the development of a sustainability road map to assist the KIC and its industry members with strategic decision making on the long-term sustainability and the development of community endorsed sustainability metrics for the KIA to assist with constructive stakeholder discussions (e.g. with government and community) on emerging sustainability issues and possible future directions for the KIA.

Enabling tools and technologies for capturing regional and supply chain synergies (3A1)

This project aimed to encourage and facilitate the greater utilisation of regional synergy opportunities to improve the overall eco-efficiency of resource processing intensive regions. The project reviewed and documented current and emerging best practice, developed and trialled a novel methodology for regional eco-efficiency opportunity assessments and assessed synergy technology needs and opportunities. The work fed into and built upon the regional projects in Kwinana (3B1) and Gladstone (3C1), and sought to seed new synergy initiatives in other resource processing intensive regions.

The main goal was to deliver a package of tools that would provide a rigorous and systematic approach to identify and rank synergy opportunities and associated technologies for new and existing industries within an industrial area. To achieve this, the project developed a publicly available database of good industrial ecology examples, which includes Kwinana, Gladstone, Forth Valley, Puerto Rico, Kalundborg, Tampico and Quebec. A Regional Synergy Opportunity Toolkit was developed to identify, evaluate and screen regional synergy opportunities through a three-level process trials were conducted at Kwinana, Gladstone, Geelong, Wagga Wagga and Rustenburg (South Africa). The project also developed approaches to assess and evaluate the viability of feasible technologies for identified water and energy/heat regional synergy opportunities.

Regional synergy toolkit

SEG has within its industrial ecology program also developed a three-staged Regional Synergy Opportunity Toolkit to facilitate the identification and development of synergy opportunities in industry intensive regions. The toolset is primarily designed to be used by facilitator/s initiating or enhancing a regional synergy project. However it can also be used by companies looking for an outlet for one or more of their outputs or companies looking for an alternative input/s, providing the input/output data for the industrial area data is available. It represents a step-by-step routine, comprising a number of enabling tools, such as datasheets, various templates and most importantly a set of application tools that facilitate and aid organisations in their decision making process.

The Regional Synergy Opportunity Toolkit has been applied successfully at various levels in the established Kwinana and Gladstone regions and the new regions, Geelong in Victoria, Wagga Wagga in NSW and Rustenburg in South Africa. Further application of the tool is currently being developed in industrial parks in Whyalla, South Australia and Beijing, China.

Kwinana industrial inorganic by-product reuse (3B3)

This project aimed to find practical and short-term solutions to utilise short-term high volume/low value inorganic by-products produced in Kwinana that are currently disposed and/or stored in dedicated facilities. These include bauxite residue (Alcoa) and gypsum (CSBP), and potentially iron making slag (HIsmelt).

During 2007/08, a report on the reuse options for phosphogypsum was completed, along with regulatory and market assessments. The market assessment identified a number of imminent and planned infrastructure, residential and commercial development projects within a reasonable distance from the Kwinana Industrial Area (KIA) to assure economic viability for the potential reuse of inorganic materials generated within the KIA. A literature search was undertaken to establish the extent of inorganic by-product use in other parts of Australia and overseas, and what regulatory frameworks, if any exist, to support or enable this.

Regional synergies in the Rustenburg area (AMIRA P913) (3D1)

The overall aim of this scoping study was to assess whether and how regional synergies around Anglo Platinum in South Africa can contribute to sustainable development in its operations. The research confirmed the great potential for new synergies for Anglo Platinum’s operations in Rustenburg, which will result in economic, environmental, and social benefits for local companies and the region as a whole. This is evidenced by this project being able to identify over 40 by-product, utility, supply chain, and service synergy opportunities involving Anglo Platinum and other industries in the region. In addition, 19 synergy opportunities have been identified for industries in the North West Province (other than Anglo Platinum).

The identified synergy opportunities have been prioritised using the CSRP Synergy Prioritisation Tool, which systematically assesses and scores potential sustainability benefits of synergy opportunities and their ease of implementation. These assessments in combination with a comprehensive evaluation of selected opportunities based on Australian experiences provide the basis for Anglo Platinum to further develop the most promising opportunities through detailed feasibility assessments in the future. The study illustrates that each synergy is unique in terms of its anticipated business and sustainability case, drivers/barriers, and action plan to move forward.

BP industrial synergies opportunities investigation (3B6)

Hydrogen Energy (a joint venture of BP Alternative Energy and Rio Tinto) carried out preliminary assessment on a proposal to establish an integrated gasification combined cycle power generation plant in Kwinana that would be fully integrated with carbon capture and storage. Such a plant would provide significant opportunities for establishing new supply chain, by-product, and utility synergies with existing Kwinana industries. This would result in business and sustainability benefits for the companies involved and the Kwinana region as a whole.

A scoping study has been completed to explore and evaluate the regional synergy opportunities emerging from the proposed hydrogen power plant. This project has confirmed the great potential for new synergies (over 20 by-product, utility and supply chain synergy opportunities were identified). As part of the study detailed assessments were conducted to explore short-listed synergy opportunities. The study provided the basis for Hydrogen Energy to secure critical resources (process and cooling water) and develop regional synergies with the Kwinana industries.

Detailed scoping study into evaporative water supply/treatment system in the Kwinana industrial area (125)

The project is to undertake a scoping and pre-feasibility study into an evaporative seawater desalination system in the Kwinana Industrial Area, utilising energy and moisture contents of industry flue gases. The first stage of the project includes a baseline assessment on available desalination and evaporative water treatment technologies, followed by a review of possible treatment/supply options in Kwinana. The first stage will also cover stakeholder engagement and the development of an issues paper on how a seawater desalination plant, driven by industry flue gases, would fit within the deregulation of the water supply market. The aim of the first stage is to come up with promising treatment scenarios which have anticipated industry, government, and community support. In the second stage, selected treatment scenarios will be subjected to detailed pre-feasibility studies to qualify and quantify the anticipated sustainability benefits, business case and achievability.

Detailed scoping study into potential effluent synergies in the Kwinana industrial area (126)

The project is to further enhance synergies between industrial effluents and water supplies in the Kwinana Industrial Area (KIA), and thereby improve the overall water efficiency in the area, without compromising on process quality and control, and health and safety. The first stage of the project includes an assessment of current “fit for purpose” water use and water demands in the KIA, and the establishment of “fit for purpose” quality criteria. The first stage will also cover a review of the current (inter)national and regulatory environmental and health and safety requirements in order to assess the technical feasibility of using secondary treated wastewater from the Sepia Depression Ocean Outfall Landline (SDOOL) for selected processes, such as cooling towers, slurry transport and dust suppression. The aim of the first stage is to come up with promising treatment scenarios, which meet these quality criteria and have anticipated industry, government, and community support. In the second stage, selected scenarios for water treatment and delivery will be subjected to detailed pre-feasibility studies to quantify and qualify the anticipated sustainability benefits, business case and achievability, and to identify any significant barriers to overcome.