Council to install methane capture system at landfill site

A West Australian Council is installing a biogas system at an ageing landfill site which it says will capture and destroy more than 800,000 cubic metres of methane a year.

Mayor Greg Stocks: capturing greenhouse emissions

Methane is a greenhouse gas that forms as organic matter decomposes in landfill.

It’s 28 times more damaging than carbon dioxide when it comes to trapping heat in the atmosphere, according to environmental services company LMS Energy, which will deliver the project for Albany City Council southwest of Perth.

Council says the 20-year contract with LMS will destroy up to 850,000 cubic metres of methane at its Hanrahan Road facility each year – the equivalent of removing 7,500 cars from the road per year, or growing 300,000 trees over ten years.

“A series of wells will be drilled and installed throughout the landfill site to extract harmful greenhouse gases such as methane,” says LMS Energy’s Group Manager for Clients, Jason Dockerill.

“A system of pipes will then transport the methane to LMS Energy’s industry-leading biogas flare, where they’re safely destroyed.

“The flare will be engineered and manufactured in-house by LMS. Without this, the methane would primarily be released into the atmosphere.”

Reducing the environmental impact of waste

Albany Mayor Greg Stocks says it’s the first time greenhouse gas emissions will captured at the site, which has an estimated lifespan of around ten more years.

“The City’s landfill site receives 30,000 tonnes of waste each year where a portion of this is made up of organic matter which will eventually decompose and produce methane,” Mayor Stocks said.

“Together, we are working to reduce the environmental impact of waste.”

According to council documents dated February 13 2024, council is required by environmental regulations to include an landfill gas management system in its closure plan for the landfill site.

It would cost the City more than $1.3 million to do the gas extraction itself.

LMS will pay a peppercorn rent in acknowledgement of its ‘substantial investment’ in building, maintaining and operating the biogas buildings and infrastructure, which will return to council at the end of the contract.

The Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage has provided in principle consent to the lease, subject to final approval from the Minister.

LMS owns and operates more than 60 biogas projects at some of the biggest landfills in Australia, as well as projects in New Zealand and the United States.

This includes the Albury Renewable Energy Hub which is owned and operated by LMS in partnership with Albury City Council. The facility was commissioned in 2013 and has an installed capacity of 1.1MW, plus an additional 1.5MW solar PV system.  

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