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Herbert Smith Freehills has advised the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) in relation to its $23 million grant funding of the Kwinana Waste to Energy Project, located in the Kwinana Industrial Area, 40km south of Perth, Western Australia.

The $668 million waste processing facility, which was co-developed by Phoenix Energy Australia Pty Ltd and Macquarie Capital (Australia) Limited, will use moving grate incineration technology to process around 400,000 tonnes of waste a year sourced from various local governments in the Perth Metropolitan Area under long term waste supply agreements.

This will generate approximately 36MW of baseload power – the equivalent of up to 50,000 homes – capable of export to the South West Interconnected System (SWIS).

The project will be designed, built, operated and maintained by a consortium including by Spanish contractor Acciona and energy services company Veolia Environmental Services (Australia) Pty Ltd with commissioning expected to begin in the fourth quarter of 2020 and the project set to be fully operational by the second quarter of 2021.It will be owned by a consortium including Macquarie and the Dutch Infrastructure Fund.

The Herbert Smith Freehills team was led by partners Elizabeth Charlesworth and Alison Dodd who were supported by senior associates Rupert Baker and David Ong and solicitors Yun Yong and Hiroko Ito.

Ms Charlesworth said, “With the support of ARENA, the project’s sponsors, the Clean Energy Finance Corporation and the many commercial lenders involved in providing the requisite project finance debt, Perth is set to see a significant portion of its post-recycling residential rubbish diverted from landfill sites to the Kwinana Waste to Energy Project.”

“As a result, this innovative, Australian-first project is set to change the way in which we view and process waste in this country,” Ms Charlesworth said.

Ashurst advised the sponsors in relation to the project. The lenders were advised by Allens.

This deal is another example of Herbert Smith Freehills’ market-leading work in the energy sector. Other recent examples include:

  • advising Macquarie Capital and the project companies on the project development, corporate sale, offtake arrangements and project financing of the 228MW Lal Lal Wind Farms to be developed in Victoria’s Central Highlands;
  • advising the financiers on the 87MW greenfield Beryl solar farm project financing and development;
  • advising the financiers on the project financing of the 530MW Stockyard Hill wind project, which will be the southern hemisphere’s largest wind farm;
  • advising AGL Energy and lenders on the 453 MW Coopers Gap Wind Farm; and
  • advising ENGIE and Mitsui on the development of the 119 MW Willogoleche Wind Farm in South Australia.