Barwon Water awaits funding approval for organics hub

February 5, 2023 BY

Concept designs for Barwon Water's Regional Renewable Organic Network at Black Rock, Connewarre. Photo: BARWON WATER

BARWON Water is awaiting state approval of its plan to spend $38.5 million on construction of its Regional Renewable Organics Network (RRON) facility at Black Rock in Connewarre.

The capital expenditure is contained in the utility’s five-year price submission now under review by the Essential Services Commission (ESC). If approved, it forecasts a total spend of $549 million over the next five years on infrastructure renewal, growth, service and compliance.

Anticipating the ESC’s consent to budgeting for the facility, Barwon Water has prepared an advanced tender notice for the build via the Victorian government.

The RRON will take food, garden and commercial organic waste from six local councils and transform it into agricultural product and create renewable power.
In 2022 the regional water authority signed waste agreements with the Borough of Queenscliffe, Colac Otway Shire, City of Greater Geelong, Golden Plains Shire, Surf Coast Shire and Wyndham City to supply the RRON with green waste.

Barwon Water had been working to an early 2023 construction start date for the 3.4 hectare facility and was aiming for its completion by mid-2024, but has since shifted those time lines 12 months with an operational date of mid 2025 now proposed.

The construction sector was alerted by Barwon Water it was preparing to start the search for potential builders of the RRON, after it issued an advanced tender notice last year that outlined the project requirements and set an estimated advertising date for tenders by June 30 this year.

If project funding is approved by the ESC, Barwon Water will then apply to the EPA for approval to proceed with the project in mid-2023 and will simultaneously share the latest design and technical assessments of the project with the community.

For more information head to yoursay.barwonwater.vic.gov.au/RRON