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Australian Paper’s energy from waste project has taken a step forward with the Victorian Environment Protection Authority (EPA) approving an application to develop a large-scale Waste to Energy facility.

The Nationals Member for Gippsland Darren Chester announced $2.5 million from the Federal Government toward the feasibility phase into Energy from Waste technology to undertake planning, design and cost estimation.

If the technology proves successful, a $600 million Waste to Energy plant will be built adjacent to the Maryvale Mill which would create 800 direct construction jobs and more than 40 permanent jobs in the Latrobe Valley.

Mr Chester said the technology could provide steam and electricity to power the existing Maryvale Mill – created from other people’s waste.

“Waste to energy is a proven technology throughout the world with significant social, economic and environmental benefits,” Mr Chester said.

“If the technology proves viable, this could provide major long-term benefits for Gippsland and the Latrobe Valley.

“The facility could process 650 tonnes of waste from homes and businesses which is currently going to landfill.

“There are environmental benefits with the reduction of landfill, the opportunity for an alternative  source of power to supply Australian Paper and direct jobs at the Waste to Energy plant.”

Australian Paper is the largest private employer in Gippsland.

Moving forward Australian Paper will seek to secure waste contracts and apply for a planning permit before securing an EPA operating licence.

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