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Herbert Smith Freehills has advised Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company Masdar (a subsidiary of Mubadala) (Masdar) on its acquisition of a 40% stake in the A$511 million East Rockingham Resource Recovery Facility in Western Australia.

The project, on which construction will start this month, is expected to process 300,000 tonnes of municipal and industrial waste each year to generate approximately 29MW of electricity. In addition to bank debt, the project is supported by funding from the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) and Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA).

The Melbourne-based team advising on Masdar’s investment was led by energy, infrastructure and resources executive counsel Neena Aynsley and corporate partner Nick Baker, supported by solicitor Madeleine Miller. Project financing advice was provided by partner Elizabeth Charlesworth, and partner Daniel Zador and solicitor Sam Edwards advised on projects-related matters. UK and Abu Dhabi General Market advice was provided by corporate partners Gavin Williams and Haitham Hawashin, from the firm’s London and Dubai offices respectively.

Neena Aynsley commented, “We are delighted to assist Masdar with its first strategic investment in Australia and to continue to be at the forefront of new energy technology projects in Australia. Energy from waste has a role to play in closing the loop in developing a circular and sustainable economy in Australia and addressing our landfill problem.”

The East Rockingham Resource Recovery Facility is only the second energy from waste facility project to reach financial close in Australia and Masdar’s first investment in the Australian energy sector. It is another example of Herbert Smith Freehills’ market-leading work in the energy, and in particular energy from waste space. The project reflects the growing interest in energy from waste projects in Australia, as well as the broader Asia Pacific region in addressing waste issues and reducing carbon emissions.

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