Council asks burning questions 

An artist’s impression of how the site might look. 

A request for further information has paused progress on Global Contracting Solutions’ (GCS) plans to build a waste to energy plant on Te Awamutu’s Racecourse Road.

GCS applied for consent in December 2021, however their application was paused in early March. Waipā District Council requested further information be given to them before any processing on the application continues.

Waste to energy plants recycle materials and create energy through the combustion of non-recyclable waste.

GCS’s plant, named Paewira, is being promoted as being capable of processing 150,000 tonnes of waste derived fuel a year. From that, the plant could produce 15 megawatts of power – enough to power 15,000 homes, or all of Te Awamutu in the summer.

The council’s information request addresses a range of concerns, including application clarifications, waste and water management, cultural effects, safety, transportation, sound, environmental and residential impacts, and numerous other topics.

Quentin Budd, Waipā District Council’s consents team leader said their information request reflects the complexity of the GCS application, and the need to ensure any decision on the application is properly informed.

“Processing will commence when we receive a response to all the matters raised in the letter.”

GCS executives had a meeting on Tuesday to discuss the request, and they are working through their responses. The company declined to make a public comment on the issue this week but it is understood the council’s information request was within expectations.

There are no active waste to energy plants in New Zealand, and if GCS is successful in building their plant, it would become a national first.

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