EnergyAustralia has entered into an exclusive agreement with organic materials recycling business Bettergrow Pty Ltd to potentially repurpose the former Wallerawang power station site.
The site’s future has been the subject of significant debate in recent months, including a bid from consortium Real Axis Pty Ltd to develop a business park using existing infrastructure.
In a statement released by Energy Australia, the company stated that “if successful, the agreement could lead to Bettergrow establishing operations to initially produce organic products such as compost, turf and fertiliser. Bettergrow has a long history of rehabilitating and transforming disused mine and industrial sites for beneficial re-use”.
EnergyAustralia stated it has applied to Lithgow City Council for permission to start the deconstruction of the remaining site assets. Some equipment would be removed for use elsewhere, the company stated. The work would include potentially removing the primary boiler, turbine hall, cooling towers, buildings and associated equipment such as coal-handling conveyors, above-ground pipelines and electrical systems, the statement said.
However, EnergyAustralia Head of Mt Piper Greg McIntyre said EnergyAustralia would preserve plant infrastructure if it would make the site more attractive for Bettergrow or another project proponent.
Mr McIntyre said a great deal of work had gone into preparing the former power station site.
“Bettergrow is a leader in its field with operations along the east coast; its interest is a great vote of confidence in Wallerawang,” he said.
“It’s really exciting because it means we’re one step closer to securing the site’s long-term future,” Mr McIntyre said.
Under the agreement, Bettergrow will have exclusive rights to inspect the decommissioned plant and for the next month work with EnergyAustralia toward a long-term deal.
Bettergrow Managing Director Neil Schembri said the company had “a strong reputation rehabilitating and repurposing sites like Wallerawang and we can see the potential in using a large portion of the existing infrastructure”.
“Bettergrow is keen on establishing a business park on site, which will reinvigorate the community around Wallerawang and Lithgow.”
Wallerawang power station closed in 2014.