Green energy firm FOY Group is planning to construct a facility for converting non-recyclable plastics into liquid fuel in Canberra.

The environmental impact statement (EIS) for the project is currently under review by the ACT Government. With public consultations open until 23 September, FOY Group aims to have the facility operational by next year, once approved.

The project will be the company’s first facility capable of diverting 200 tonnes of waste plastic material from landfill per day. It will be situated in the Hume industrial estate, across Mugga Lane tip.

FOY Group Managing Director Stuart Clark explains that the process involves breaking down the plastic waste into sludge, and then converting it into road ready fuel, whether diesel or petrol.

“Plastics originally come from oil in the first place so it’s really just reversing it — chemically it’s not a major change,” he said.

With Australians consuming more than 1.5 million tonnes of plastic each year, Clark adds that the project can potentially solve a worldwide problem in fuel shortage.

According to technical director Bevan Dooley, while other countries also convert plastics to fuel, FOY Group will use a new Australian-patented technology that takes the process a step further. “Overseas technology exists … but those technologies take it back to a crude oil.”

“But with our process, the plastic goes in one end and, with nothing else coming out in between, out the other end comes diesel and petrol.”

Dooley further claims that the finished product also gives out lower emissions compared to regular fuels on the market. “The diesel that we make is superior to standard diesel so when you combust the diesel in a truck, for example, it actually has a cleaner emissions profile.”

Clark wants the project to be FOY Group’s centerpiece, one of many planned to be built worldwide over the long term.

“We really want this to be a flagship; we want to build other sites throughout the world and we want to be able to bring people here — from the US, China, Indonesia — and show them a nice, clean working facility.”

During community consultations last August 30, concerns were raised on emissions, odours and noise, as the facility will be located 1.3 kilometres away from Gilmore, a residential area.

Clark gave assurances that the facility’s closed system will not permit odours and noise past the site’s boundary, and that they are taking measures to ensure no leakages will occur.

Clark says FOY Group has yet to receive a single complaint from neighboring residents living near the company’s Berkley Vale facility north of Sydney, attesting to the efficiency of their operations.

Nevertheless, he adds that the company is open to communicating with residents to address their concerns.

Extracted from Resource Recovery.