Réunion – Waste Management Complex.

CNIM to head development consortium.
CNIM has been selected by ILEVA to head a consortium to develop a waste management complex which will treat 60% of the island’s waste and produce renewable electricity for more than 10,000 households. Commissioning is due by the end of 2022.

Brazil – Development of a corn-based ethanol production plant.

KATZEN International to design R$800 million facility.
KATZEN International has signed an agreement for the design of a corn-based ethanol production plant that will be located in Nova Mutum, Mato Grosso region. O + Participações has also signed an agreement with INPASA for the construction of the plant. Groundbreaking for the new facility began at the site during April and it is expected to start operations in the second half of 2020. The Ethanol SA Bioenergia plant will produce a minimum of 800,000 litres per day of fuel ethanol.

Fast Growth, Rising Waste Investment

Waste investments can be found in all sorts of places you might not expect. While the bulk of attention naturally focuses on the major developed economies, it may pay to glance occasionally elsewhere. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has recently released its latest economic GDP forecasts. The top fastest-growing countries for the 2019-2024 period are listed in the chart below, ranked by the value of new waste sector investment, as reported in the AcuComm database.

Almost all of these countries are classed as developing economies, with some still at a very low level of economic development. It’s only natural that these should register the highest growth levels. What’s perhaps more surprising is the amount of waste and related investment there is. Out of the top 25 countries, 17 have at least one project either in the planning or construction stage. There are 566 in total, valued at US$48.1 billion; a considerable sum of money.

Newsletter chart wk 15

China dominates the list with US$34.0 billion, around 71% of the value. While China’s GDP growth is slowing a little, the waste management sector remains huge, both in terms of its current size and potential. India, in second place, is faster-growing but at a lower level of development. Nevertheless, new waste projects in India are estimated at US$6.2 billion. Other countries where AcuComm lists new investments over US$500 million are the Philippines, Vietnam, Egypt, Kenya, Rwanda and Ivory Coast.

There’s activity further down the list too. One recent example is Bhutan, where a comprehensive clinical waste programme was announced in January 2019, supported by the Asian Development Bank (ADB). Another is Uganda, where an anaerobic digestion plant at a sewage facility in Kampala neared completion in December 2018. Projects like this are not particularly large, but all need construction/engineering expertise and equipment, all of which will need to be imported.

Projects in developing countries often involve external funding agencies, such as the aforementioned ADB or its compatriot the African Development Bank (AfDB). The European Union is involved through a number of bodies, principally the European Investment Bank (EIB). The EIB is generally, though not exclusively, active in supporting projects in the less-well-off parts of Europe, whether in or out of the European Union. Recent part-funded projects include the establishment of new WtE, landfill and recycling facilities in Serbia, modern landfill in Armenia, and improvement of landfill and waste management expertise in Kyrgyzstan. You can see the full list here.

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is an even bigger lender. AcuComm lists around 100 projects with EBRD involvement. It is not an EU agency, although it sometimes works in tandem with the EIB. It tends to concentrate on supporting projects in eastern Europe and the former USSR, often in countries or regions with little prior experience of modern waste management.

Working in developing countries attracts risk, of course, and it is likely that not all the projects in the table above will come to fruition. Reliable funding is an issue, but there are challenges to be overcome even when cash is provided by an external donor. Bureaucracy is one, when dealing with funding agencies and local government agencies alike. Developing countries are less likely to have had time to establish the management structures and experience needed to progress a major project, and indeed strengthening such capacity is often a key element of donor-funded projects. A country’s climate or power/water infrastructure may present challenges not found in western Europe or north America. Finally, there can be political difficulties regarding the sustainability or even the desirability of major investments in developing countries.

And yet… for all that, US$48.1 billion is a lot of money. It’s a sign that attention is being paid to global opportunities, as countries grow wealthier, and in need of – and able to afford – modern waste infrastructure.

Currently Trending: Ethanol, MBT and Plastic Recycling facilities.

US$2,799 million worth of projects were covered by our researchers last week, including 19 new projects and 27 updates.

The top waste trends included:

Click on the above trends to access a real-time project search in the AcuComm database.


Canada  – Organic waste treatment centres and biogas facility.

SUEZ selected for Saint-Laurent facility.
Ville de Montreal is planning to carry out a project to create organic waste treatment centres (OWTC) in Greater Montréal including the construction of two composting centres, two biogas facilities and a pilot pre-treatment centre. On 17th April 2019, SUEZ reported that the City has selected it to design, build and operate the first OWTC in Saint-Laurent that can process up to 50,000 tonnes of organic material each year.

Egypt – Waste-to-RDF facility.

Development of a 400,000 tpa waste-to-RDF facility.
Geocycle Egypt Company, a member of Lafarge Holcim group, has officially opened a facility in Ain Sokhna, Suez governorate, that converts non-hazardous waste into high-quality refuse-derived fuel. It has a capacity to produce 400,000 tonnes annually of alternative fuel. According to the company, the facility is the largest in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. The total cost of the project amounted to E£200 million.

#Editor’sPick – WtE Facilities

Russia – WtE Plants

Construction of four WtE plants

Hitachi Zosen Inova (HZI) and PJSC ZiO-Podolsk have signed an agreement which will see them construct four waste-to-energy (WtE) plants in Moscow.

It is understood that HZI will be taking on the supply of technology and PJSC ZiO-Podolsk will be delivering manufacturing services for the power island equipment.

Catch up on the latest from this project.

UK – WtE Facility

Construction of a 350,000 tpa WtE facility

Fortum Glasgow, a joint venture between Fortum Oyj and Verus Energy, has acquired the South Clyde Energy Centre. The site has planning permission for a 350,000 tpa capacity WtE plant, which was originally granted consent back in 2012.

The facility will divert waste from landfill and process it to generate electricity and heat. Work could start as early as 2020 if plans go ahead.

Find out more about this project.

#Editor’sPick – AD & Biogas Plants

US – AD Facility

Development of a dairy biogas project

Brightmark Energy has revealed that it has launched its biogas project in Yakima County, WA, that will convert dairy waste into renewable natural gas (RNG) and other products.

The anaerobic digestion facility will process up to 150,000 gallons of manure, producing 160,000 MMBtu of RNG that will be cleaned, upgraded and compressed before being injected into the nearby Williams NW gas transmission line for sale as fuel.

The project has been valued at US$20 million and is just one of a number of developments that Brightmark is undertaking across the country.

See the full details.

Denmark – Biogas Plant

Construction of a biogas plant with 14 digesters

On 1st April, work officially commenced on the construction of a new biogas plant in Højslev. The facility will feature 14 of Stallkamp’s digesters which will treat around 400,000 tonnes of agricultural, animal and food waste each year, though its maximum capacity is 600,000 tonnes.

Construction work is expected to be completed later this year, with gas injection due to start by December.

Find out more about this project.

Currently Trending: Biogas, Recycling & Biomass Facilities

US$2,521 million worth of projects were covered by our researchers last week, including 22 new additions and 24 updates.

The top waste trends included:

Click on the above trends to access a real-time project search in the AcuComm database.

WtE Tax? Let me tell you how it will be…

A tax on waste incineration may soon be coming to the UK. What’s all that about? The landfill tax has had great success in reducing landfill volumes, and there has been a well-documented rise in WtE incineration, both in terms of volume and monetary investment. It seems that the government now thinks this has gone too far, and corrective measures are needed to boost, not landfill, but greater and greener recycling methods.

The subject, unusually, reached Prime Minister’s questions in the House of Commons this month. West Wiltshire MP, Dr Andrew Murchison, asked ‘Will the Government strengthen their bid to host the 2020 United Nations climate change conference by putting a moratorium on new incinerator, gasification and pyrolysis applications, including the one in Westbury [see here for AcuComm’s coverage of this project], in my constituency?’. To which the prime minister replied ‘We want to maximise the amount of waste that is sent to recycling rather than to incineration and landfill. Waste plants continue to play an important role in reducing the amount of rubbish that is sent to landfill, and we welcome the efforts to drive it down further. but if wider policies do not deliver our waste ambitions in the future—including those higher recycling rates—we will consider introducing a tax on the incineration of waste’.

The PM’s reply was taken more or less directly from the report outlined below. What was interesting about the question was that it lumped newer technologies such as gasification and pyrolysis together which traditional WtE facilities. All much the same in the eyes of campaigners, one suspects.

There are no details or timetables, and the composition of the UK government in a few months from now is anyone’s guess. But a tax on waste incineration has been around Whitehall for a while now. In December 2018, the government issued a strategy document, ‘Our Waste, Our Resources, A Strategy For England’. This deals with all aspects of waste management, but one area highlighted is better efficiency in the waste incineration sector. The principal government concern seems to be to make greater use of CHP (combined heat and power) than at present; most current facilities contribute electricity only. But there also seems to be a concern that there is now too much WtE incineration and too little recycling, and its use may need to be curtailed through tax, as has been the case with landfill:

‘Should wider policies not deliver the Government’s waste ambitions in the long-term, we will consider the introduction of a tax on the incineration of waste. Incineration currently plays a significant role in waste management in the UK, and the Government expects this to continue. However, Budget 2018 set out the Government’s long term ambition to maximise the amount of waste sent to recycling instead of incineration and landfill. Any consideration would take into account how such a tax would work alongside Landfill Tax and the possible impacts on local authorities.’ (page 79, editor’s bold)

A tax might also, of course, incentivise CHP over current investment patterns, although the government does not explicitly say this. The idea of an incineration tax means different things to different people, depending on the desired outcome. Neil Grundon, of Grundon Waste Management, has a slightly different take. Writing on the CIWM web site in November 2018, he argued that the landfill tax has led to an increase in RDF exports rather than investment in domestic waste treatment capacity. A tax on RDF exports, rather than incineration itself, would, therefore, discourage these exports and provide cash for domestic investment in new, greener, treatment methods. Large incinerators would be taxed, to encourage the development of smaller, locally-sustainable facilities.

There is certainly a trend towards the construction of large – maybe too large – WtE facilities, which promise better economies of scale and greater return on investment. As we saw recently with Tata’s planned Cheshire facility, one objection raised is the inability of such large sites to survive just using local waste, whether in RDF or unprocessed form.

The export tax idea raises a couple of interesting issues, however. Firstly, it should be noted that this isn’t remotely what the government appears minded to introduce. Secondly, in regards to waste and, by extension, RDF as a problem to be dealt with, rather than a commodity with value. RDF exports are presumably profitable for the companies exporting them, and a worthwhile purchase for the overseas receivers. While an export tax would provide a clear benefit for local operators such as Grundon, it’s hard to see why any government should be keen to explicitly suppress a profitable export trade in this way.

Whatever the details, the broad direction of travel seems clear. To mix a metaphor, the UK seems to be aiming to move the circular economy up a gear. Where once the incentive was the reduction of landfill to the benefit of WtE and recycling, it is now to be the reduction of landfill and WtE, to the benefit of recycling alone. This may have profound implications for the industry, with smaller CHP-style units replacing the traditional incinerators and even perhaps gasification/pyrolysis technologies. In some ways, we’ve been here before. The UK pioneered waste incineration in the 1800s*, before abandoning it in favour of sanitary landfill in the mid-20th Century, and then re-embracing it in the 2000s in the wake of the landfill tax. So again today, the regulatory environment is not standing still. Planners must be aware of this changing environment and adjust their strategies accordingly.

* for anyone interested in the early history of UK waste incineration, I’d recommend ‘’The incineration of refuse is beautiful’ : Torquay and the introduction of municipal refuse destructors’, by J.F.M. Clark, Cambridge University Press, 2007. You can read it online here.

Potential for waste investment in Slovakia?

On 30th March, Zuzana Čaputová was elected as Slovakia’s President with 58.4% of the vote. When she is inaugurated on 15th June, she will simultaneously become the country’s youngest-ever President and its first female. Her victory marks a triumph for liberalism and progressive politics in a region which is known for conservatism and populism.

The link to the waste industry? Prior to her political campaign, Zuzana Čaputová was a lawyer who won a 14-year legal battle, culminating in the European Court of Justice, representing the residents of her home town Pezinok against the municipal authority’s attempt to establish a landfill close to a residential area. It was a fight, not against the waste industry though, but against corruption.

Waste is a lucrative avenue for organised crime in Eastern Europe, with a plentiful supply of land for landfill sites that is cheaper than in Western Europe and a plentiful supply of illegal waste that can prove to be a good source of revenue for those who can dispose of it.

Slovakia’s President-elect is a strong supporter of the EU and it would come as no surprise to see this allegiance rewarded with an inflow of EU funding for development – with legitimate waste infrastructure projects being a key recipient.

Landfill has been Slovakia’s main method of waste disposal since 2010 (see graphic).

Slovakia waste 2004-16

A Guide to WasteView Markets

WasteView Markets provides you with invaluable insights into the Waste, Bioenergy and Recycling sectors, ensuring your sales strategy is aligned with the latest industry trends to keep you one step ahead of the competition. These insights are consolidated into a monthly report which analyses real-time project developments from across the globe.

How does it work?

Each issue is split into sections:

  • The current industry landscape
  • Worldwide regional focuses
  • Sector focuses
  • Latest monthly activity


Throughout the document, links are provided to a range of pre-set searches in the AcuComm WasteView Projects database. You’ll find the links in the various graphs, charts and tables.


WasteView Markets finishes with a full list of the latest newly-reported projects from the last month and the companies that are involved with them. Each project and company is linked back to the database, allowing you to access the full information, data and contact details associated with each.

What’s included?

With WasteView Markets, you’ll receive 12 interactive PDF publications that share detailed analysis of the latest market trends and forecasts. To coincide with the publication, you’ll also get full access to the WasteView Projects database; which is updated daily and contains over 6,800 projects and the contact details of 20,000 decision-makers.

You can download your free sample copy or get a quick assessment of the market potential with AcuComm’s Instant MarketView.

If you’d like any more information about WasteView Markets or any other of AcuComm’s products, get in touch with the team today on 01243 788686.