Lisa Dudzik: Construction and Project Planning

This blog entry by contracts and claims manager Lisa Dudzik will expound on the importance of project planning with respect to protecting the environment. In two separate news items, Lisa shares her thoughts about the environment and the potential of mega projects in the field of energy generation from waste.

Yeelirrie Uranium Deposit No Go

Australians and environmentalists alike recently welcomed the decision by the Environmental Protection Authority or EPA rejecting proposals to develop a new uranium mine in Western Australia. The developer, Cameco, expressed interest to build a new uranium mine in Yeelirrie, one of the country’s largest undeveloped uranium deposits. Seen to hold some 127 million pounds of uranium, the proposed site would have had two open pits, processing facilities, and housing for workers to support extraction of some 7,500 tons of uranium oxide concentrate per year.

The state EPA rejected the proposal, on account of the tiny subterranean fauna found on the site. Yeelirrie is habitat to 73 species of stygofauna, a group of crustaceans and invertebrates that live in groundwater. While the EPA acknowledged the Canadian developer’s sound management strategies for raising the viability of the proposed mine, they nevertheless deemed that the wildlife risks on the site are too great and that the mine will not be given a green signal.

On its part, representatives of Cameco have declared that they respect the decision of the Australian government and that they are willing to work together to improve working conditions to protect the stygofauna. Australia is currently the third largest producer of uranium in the world, next to Kazakhstan and Canada. The country had shipped some 6,700 tons of uranium oxide concentrate valued at AU$ 622 million in 2014.

In highly sensitive projects such as this where there are components of nuclear power involved, project planning becomes even more important so as not to violate environmental regulations, and to protect the local community and wildlife in the area. The Yeelirrie uranium deposit is around 400 miles away from Perth.

Covanta’s Waste-to-Energy

Meanwhile, Covanta’s new waste-to-energy facility in Poolbeg, Dublin Port is reported to be near completion. Once the 58-MW energy facility goes online, it is seen to contribute and translate to the energy company’s improving financial standing.

Dublin’s waste market isn’t the only one undergoing rapid shrinking landfill capacities; many other mega cities face the same problems, which is where the opportunity for more waste-to-energy projects lie.

In Perth, Covanta is already busy working in the early development stages of construction planning on a different waste-to-energy project. They are reportedly working on building a worldclass facility that’s within costs and is feasible to their timeline. Other locations they have waste-to-energy projects are in the United Kingdom.

While there is no official word on the project yet, it wouldn’t be preemptive to say that Perth definitely has room for mega projects such as this, which can significantly help reduce the city’s waste.

For more updates on mega construction projects by Lisa Dudzik, please stay tuned to her blog.