AcuComm Waste Business Finder

Spain - WtE Plant

06/09/2017 | Project Number: 003887

Key Project Facts

Country: Location:
Spain Zubieta
Principal Facility Type: Facility Type:
Integrated/mixed facilities Waste-to-Energy, Biogas, Recycling, Waste Processing
Principal Waste Type: Waste Type:
MSW Municipal Solid Waste
Development Phase: Value:
Project Commencement € 217,000,000
Capacity (tonnes/year):
Commission Date:
Q4 2019

Project Updates

Date Change made
06/09/2017 Development plan for CMG-2 approved by the Assembly.
01/08/2017 Procedures set in motion for Phase 2.
15/05/2017 Construction commences.
10/05/2017 Contract signed; work to begin shortly.
04/01/2017 Contract awarded to Urbaser-led consorium.
01/11/2016 Bids submitted by three consortia.
30/03/2016 Tender due to be issued in spring; PPP model favoured.

Development of a waste management centre.

The Diputación Foral de Gipuzkoa (Provincial Council of Gipuzkoa) is constructing a new Waste Management Centre (WMC) in Zubieta, San Sebastian, as announced by Deputy Environment Minister, José Ignacio Asensio, during a general meeting on 18th December 2015 to explain the results of a report commissioned by his department.

Previously, the Council made some small changes to the Integral Waste Management Plan of Gipuzkoa (PIGRUG) that was originally approved in 2002.

On 22nd March 2016, Deputy General Markel Olano and Asensio explained the legal changes that have been approved by the Waste Consortium of Gipuzkoa (Gipuzkoako Hondakinen Kontsortzioa [GHK] or Consorcio de Residuos de Gipuzkoa) in order to start the bidding process for the construction of the WMC. They also presented the management model for the WMC. The statutes of the GHK were amended in order to proceed to tender, the award of the construction contract, and operation of the waste-to-energy plant and a mechanical biological treatment (MBT) facility. Also, a Board of Trade has been established within the GHK. Asensio noted that the WMC has environmental authorisation from the Basque Government.

In order to develop the project without affecting the indebtedness of the County Council and the other members of the consortium, and no longer rely on funding from the European Investment Bank, the Council has opted for a public-private partnership (PPP) whereby the private partner is responsible for construction, financing, operation and general maintenance of the plant.

GHK will be responsible for the management of waste, in charge of the collection of waste from transfer stations for transfer to the plant and its relationship with the Communities will be the same as before. It will also be responsible for the relationship with the private partner and oversee its work, evaluating the performance and defining the remuneration in accordance with strict criteria of functionality and quality of service.


On 28th October 2016, Asensio announced that bids from three consortia had been submitted following a public tender for the contract for the design, financing, construction, operation and maintenance of Complejo Medioambiental de Gipuzkoa Fase 1 (CMG-1; Gipuzkoa Environmental Complex Phase 1).

On 27th December 2016, it was announced that the consortium led by Urbaser has been awarded the contract. Other consortium members comprise: Meridiam Investments (France), Steinmüller Babcock Environment (Germany), plus the local companies Altuna y Uria, Construcciones Moyua, Construcciones Murias, and LKS Ingeniería S.COOP. Steinmüller Babcock Environment, as the leader of the general contractor consortium, will co-ordinate the planning, design, procurement, erection and commissioning of the complete complex and will erect the turnkey thermal waste treatment plant.

On 3rd April 2017, the contract was signed for the construction and operation of the Environmental Complex. Work began on 10th May 2017, and the construction and start-up period is 30 months, so the facility is scheduled to be operational in autumn 2019.

The facility will have state-of-the-art technology in terms of emissions that allow it to exceed the parameters of the most demanding regulations and the Integrated Environmental Authorization granted by the Basque Government. The purification system will enable significant improvements in emissions, including a 70% reduction of dioxin emissions set by the European regulations. Another notable aspect of the winning bid is the energy efficiency of the facility, which exceeds 30% as called for in the specifications and the requirements of European legislation in this area. Also, the MBT facility will be able to recover about 10,000 tonnes per annum (tpa) of materials, ie 7.7% versus the 5% demanded by the tender.

The joint venture will be responsible for an investment of €217 million for the construction and commissioning of the centre. As soon as the complex begins operations, the contractor will receive €24 million per year, which includes payments for the investment made and the management of the installation. The total project value including financing and 32-year operation is €768 million.

The electricity production will be 160,000 MWh/year, enough to meet the needs of 45,000 households and 120,000 people. With the new plant more than 94,000 tonnes of CO2 equivalent per year will be avoided.

The Zubieta WMC will be built on four floors and comprise:

  • An energy recovery facility (ERF) with two lines and an incineration capacity of 200,000 tpa that will produce electricity;
  • An MBT centre to recover recyclable materials still present in the remaining waste fraction;
  • A biogas plant; and
  • A slag recovery centre.

In the first phase, the ERF and MBT centre will be built.

After completion, the plant will be one of the cleanest waste treatment plants in the world. This is achieved by a three-stage flue gas cleaning concept. In the first stage, sulphur dioxide and other acidic gases are separated by means of a dry sorption process based on bicarbonate. A second stage eliminates nitrogen oxides by the use of SCR catalysts. The third stage reduces the remaining acidic pollutants as well as dioxins and furans to a minimum via a lime hydrate-based sorption process.


On 28th July 2017, GHK reported that its Board of Directors had approved the preliminary draft and infrastructure feasibility plan for the development of the second phase of the WMC (CMG-2). The plan was then submitted to the Assembly for approval, which was granted on 5th September 2017. There now begins a month to present any objections. Once this period has expired, the bidding process for both infrastructures will begin.

This phase will have a biomethanisation plant and a slag recovery centre. The CMG-2 will be located in the Eskuzaitzeta Polygon, in the Zubieta area, on a plot of 31,988 square metres, about 300 metres away from CMG-1. The investment planned for CMG-2 stands at around €37 million.

The implementation of CMG-2 will be carried out in parallel with the first phase and it is planned that the works will be completed simultaneously. The start of the works is estimated for May 2018, with a construction period of 12 months, and with its start-up scheduled for mid-2019.

The biomethanisation plant will have an initial treatment capacity of 40,000 tpa and receive selectively collected organic material. This facility will have technology that will allow it to obtain biogas from the organic fraction of the waste and produce energy. The slag recovery plant, which will treat the solid waste from the ERF, will have a capacity of 52,000 tpa and will develop different processes to transform them into recycled aggregates that can be used in public works (roads, etc).

The Integrated Environmental Authorisation for the second phase has already been requested.

Contact Information

Company Urbaser
Address Camino de Hormigueras 171
Phone 34 91 412 2000
Fax 34 91 412 2907
Email [email protected]
Contact Mr Jorg Finkler Phone
Job Title Fax
Company Steinmueller Babcock Environment
Address Fabrikstrasse 1
North Rhine-Westphalia
Phone 49 2261 850
Fax 49 2261 853309
Email [email protected]
Government Body
Contact Mr José Ignacio Asensio Phone
Job Title Deputy Minister Fax
Company Gipuzkoa Provincial Government, Department of Environment and Planning
Address Gipuzkoa plaza s/n, behe-gaina
San Sebastian
Phone 34 943 112 919
Fax 34 943 431 299
Email [email protected]
Company Gipuzkoako Hondakinen Kontsortzioa (Consorcio de Residuos de Gipuzkoa)
Address Ibaiondo Industrialdea 27
piso 3 edificio Orbegozo Eraikina
Hernani Gipuzkoa
Phone 34 943 504950
Fax 34 943 504949
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