Bioenergy as a fit for your facility: What you need to know

  • Session Topic

Bioenergy as a fit for your facility: What you need to know

4 Oct 2018, 1:00 PM - 2:20 PM

Room 216
English (Australia)

Chair:  Shahana McKenzie, CEO, Bioenergy Australia


Assessing the suitability or unsuitability of your facility for a biomass energy system

Thomas Strang, Managing Director, Justsen Pacific

Why you would not do a biomass energy system at a given facility. Presenting the case for why a particular solution is good and outlining who should do it still leaves many instances of where that solution is unsuitable. But if we go through all the things that make a solution unsuitable, then if your facility is not in that group or does not have any of those characteristics, then that makes your facility (by default) one of the ones that is suitable.

Also, being forthright about when biomass is not ideal reduces the perception of bias in the speaker, and so the folks listening may be more inclined to believe that speaker when they do talk about the advantages and who is suitable.


How to make bioenergy projects attractive to investment

Gary Sofarelli, Director, Foresight Group

Lily McManus, Transactions, Foresight Group

The most basic principle of investing is that the expected return justifies the risk an investor is taking. To attract third party financing into a bioenergy project, this needs to be considered for each aspect of the project's strategy including the:

  • technology choice and construction plan;
  • power and/or other offtake arrangements;
  • feedstock supply arrangements; and
  • operational plan

Energy and infrastructure projects typically attract project finance investors who aim to significantly mitigate risks associated with each of these streams to the fullest extent possible. This is done both contractually (e.g. signing a fully wrapped EPC agreement for the construction with an experienced contractor; or locking down a long term fixed price agreement) or through due diligence (e.g. a technical review of the proposed technology's suitability to the intended feedstock and the performance of its reference facilities). Having significant portions of the revenue or operating costs that are not fixed, exposed to market prices and/or difficult to forecast creates significant uncertainty and makes it much harder to raise funding from third party investors. 

This presentation will step through the typical stages of a bioenergy project's development to explain what Investors are looking for at each stage and what a Developer can do to make their Project more attractive to third party investors. We will also talk about lessons learnt from our experience in the UK on things that can make or break a project. 


Waste-to-Energy issues to consider: Lessons from Industrial Facilities

Trent Hawkins, Northmore Gordon

Rising energy costs are driving industrial facilities to investigate bioenergy solutions to displace natural gas usage and to increase their energy independence. There are a range of issues to consider, including fuel availability and cost, fuel types and considerations, design of biomass boilers and generation systems, integration into existing site utilities, safety and risk, etc. Certificates and funding opportunities 

This session will present real lessons and insights from waste to energy projects at facilities around Australia and internationally. Some of these lessons include:

  • Conversion of a coal fired boiler to pyrethrum biomass in Tasmanaia,
  • Feasibility study into anaerobic digestion at Victorian rendering facility
  • Environmental certificate creation for multiple industrial bioenergy facilities
  • Due diligence studies into biomass boilers and turbine generators


  • Shahana McKenzie



    Bioenergy Australia

    Shahana McKenzie joined Bioenergy Australia in August 2017. Shahana has a strong track record of driving public, government and consumer campaigns...

  • Thomas Strang


    Managing Director

    Justsen Pacific

    Thomas Strang has a Bachelor’s Degree in Science from the Australian National University, and a Master’s Degree in International Relations from...

  • Gary Sofarelli



    Foresight Group

    Gary Sofarelli has 15 years of energy and infrastructure project finance experience and joined Foresight as the Head of Australia in March 2016. He...

  • Lily McManus



    Foresight Group

    Lily has worked at Foresight for 5 years, initially in the UK and since 2016 in Australia. She has worked on investments into a wide range of...

  • Trent Hawkins


    Mechanical Engineer, Energy Consultant

    Northmore Gordon

    Trent Hawkins, B. Eng (Mech), is a Mechanical Engineer with over eight years’ experience in the sustainable energy field, specialising in industrial...

Opening Times
Wed 3 Oct Exhibition 9.00am – 5.00pm
Wed 3 Oct Networking Event 5.00pm - 6.30pm
Thur 4 Oct Exhibition 9.00am – 5.00pm

Registration opens 8.00am

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