Remondis operational superintendent Andrew Sultmann (left) and LMS operations manager Lyle Mander.
Remondis operational superintendent Andrew Sultmann (left) and LMS operations manager Lyle Mander. David Nielsen

Swanbank gas from downunder flicks switch

PROVIDING POWER: Minister for Industry Ian Macfarlane and LMS CEO John Falzon at the official opening of the LMS Energy and Remondis Swanbank Renewable Energy Facility at the Swanbank Landfill.
PROVIDING POWER: Minister for Industry Ian Macfarlane and LMS CEO John Falzon at the official opening of the LMS Energy and Remondis Swanbank Renewable Energy Facility at the Swanbank Landfill. David Nielsen

WHEN LMS Energy CEO John Falzon looks at a landfill, he doesn't see waste - he sees opportunity.

His company is in the business of producing electricity from methane gas harvested from landfill sites.

In a joint venture with waste management company REMONDIS, LMS Energy has opened their newest Renewable Energy Facility at Swanbank Landfill.

The project will generate 9000MW hours of electricity each year, powering more than 1200 homes in the region.

"We extract the gas by drilling holes into the landfill," he said. "We then use it to fuel an engine which generates electricity into the energy grid."

Mr Falzon said the $3 million facility, which ran 24-hours a day, was at no cost to the community and did not directly affect power prices.

He said the project was also an effective way of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by destroying and reprocessing methane.

It is the second gas power generation project LMS has set up in Ipswich. A facility at the Whitwood Road Landfill opened in 2004 and has since generated 88,000MW hours of power.

At the official opening yesterday, Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane and Ipswich councillor Sheila Ireland toured the facility.

Mr Macfarlane said the Australian Government had confirmed its commitment to renewable energy with more than $1 billion dollars to renewable energy projects across Australia.

"Energy is the key to our economy," he said. "One of the things that make Australia a great country is that we are now an energy superpower.

"We will continue to ensure projects like these continue to be part of our energy mix in the future."

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