Global law firm Norton Rose Fulbright has advised the senior financiers (NAB, SMBC, ABN Amro KfW-IPEX and Mizuho) on the East Rockingham Resource Recovery Facility project, which will process approximately 300,000 tonnes of municipal, commercial and industrial waste and produce approximately 29MW of electricity, enough to power 36,000 homes. The East Rockingham Resource Recovery Facility is only the second large-scale Waste to Energy project developed in Australia to date.
A multi-disciplinary team, led by projects partner Jo Crew and supported on construction elements by partner Miriam D’Souza, advised the senior financiers on all aspects of the development, construction and financing of the project.. The firm’s role included advising the senior financiers on all aspects of the transaction including key project documents (Waste Supply agreements, EPC, O&M, PPAs, connection and land), legal due diligence and financing arrangements.
The project was developed by a consortium led by Tribe Infrastructure Group, Hitachi Zosen Inova (HZI) and New Energy Corporation, and will be the second WtE facility for southern Perth aimed at addressing Australia’s growing waste crisis. A Tribe- Masdar JV, John Laing Investments and Acciona came in as additional equity participants at financial close, evidencing the strong investor interest in the project.
The project is underpinned by waste supply agreements with the Eastern Metropolitan Regional Council (EMRC) and City of Cockburn for the supply of waste to the East Rockingham Resource Recovery Facility for a minimum of 20 years. The project was the first in Australia to be financed off the back of “waste arising” contracts. The developers also secured a deal with Suez for 10 years of waste supply and 20 years of operations and maintenance and a PPA with a single industrial offtaker for 90% of the project’s power output.
This role followed the work done by the same team in October 2018, advising DIF on its investment into Australia’s first commercial scale and project financed WtE facility at Kwinana in Western Australia
Norton Rose Fulbright partner Jo Crew commented:
“This project solidifies the importance of energy from waste as a serious measure in reducing landfill by producing energy. The Australian energy and waste markets are critical to the energy transition dialogue and have significant potential to contribute to renewable energy targets. We are pleased to have been able to draw upon our significant experience advising on the first Australian WtE plant and our global WtE expertise, to assist the senior financiers and the developers on this landmark investment.”
Jo Crew and Miriam D’Souza were also supported by members of the projects and project finance team including special counsels Joanna Taylor and Melanie Harwood, senior associates Claire Whitney, John Broadhead and Katherine Latta, associates Edwina Cheung and SuZanne Yap.