Covanta's Irish waste-to-energy plant running at capacity
The Dublin Waste-to-Energy facility at Poolbeg in Dublin Port, Ireland is operating at full capacity. Undergoing its commisioning process, the 60 MWe "heat ready" combined heat and power (CHP) plant project is a Public Private Partnership between Dublin City Council, acting on behalf of the four Dublin Local Authorities, and US-headed energy-from-waste project developer and plant operator Covanta Holding Corporation.
According to Covanta, the Dublin Waste-to-Energy facility at Poolbeg in Dublin Port is operating at full capacity, providing a “much-needed” sustainable waste management solution and renewable energy supply for the Dublin region. The facility is processing approximately 1 800 tonnes of solid waste per day, diverting post-recycled residual waste from landfills and enabling the region to become self-sufficient in managing waste and complying with EU landfill diversion targets.
On an annual basis the plant will have a capacity to treat at least 600 000 tonnes of solid waste that “cannot be sensibly recycled” reducing Ireland’s reliance on imported fossil fuel, and contributing to the country’s renewable energy targets, by generating 60 MW of continuous electricity which is exported onto the national grid.
The plant is also “heat ready” having also been designed and built with technology and infrastructure to provide district heating. Capable of supplying 90 MW of district heating, the heat could be deployed as soon as the necessary piping to homes and businesses in the area has been installed. Covanta will be working with Dublin City Council in exploring ways to deliver this resource to homes or businesses in the vicinity of the facility.
Three months of operations
The plant has processed 150 000 tonnes of waste in the three months, August, September and October. As part of the commissioning process, an independent third party testing company completed stack emissions testing for both combustion lines at the facility.
The purpose of the testing was to evaluate if emissions complied with the emission limit values as set out in the licence granted by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under the Industrial Emissions Directive.
The successful completion of the Performance Demonstration Test and the transition into commercial operations marks a great milestone for the Dublin facility. Testing and commissioning is a complex process, testing thousands of systems, sensors and controls in the plant, and the May to October period was devoted to testing and re-testing every part of the operation. As with any major infrastructure project, there are challenges along the way, but I’m proud of the way our team has persevered and overcome any difficulties in the commissioning process. The outstanding results from the independent emissions testing are extremely gratifying, said John Daly, General Manager of the Dublin Waste-to-Energy Facility.
There are over 200 operating conditions within the EPA issued licence applying to the two processing lines at the Poolbeg facility and the work of the commissioning process includes checking, stressing and testing of systems to ensure that these conditions can be satisfied during steady-state operation.
Results from the testing demonstrated that the emissions were significantly below the limits required and that 99.99 percent of the volume leaving the stack is comprised of gases common to air including, oxygen, hydrogen, nitrogen and water vapour.
In addition, trace amounts of other common gases (less than 0.01 percent of the total plume emissions) are contained in the discharge from the stacks and are strictly controlled by state-of-the-art air pollution control equipment. Dioxins and furans measured 98.14 percent below licence limits and total particulate matter (PM) was determined to be 96.37 percent below licence limits.