Focus on France

This week I thought we’d take a look at recent waste industry activity in France. The latest Eurostat data runs to 2016. In that year, just over 304.8 million tonnes of waste was treated in France. The leading category was recycling, which accounted for 199.3 million tonnes, or 65.4% of the total. The proportion sent to landfill is falling slowly, but still amounted to 84.0 million tonnes in 2016, equal to 27.6%. Relatively little use is made of incineration. WtE plants accounted for 16.5 million tonnes in 2016, equal to 5.4% of the total. There is also a small amount of non-WtE incineration, amounting to 5.0 million tonnes in 2016.

Source: Eurostat

Eurostat figures, a few years old as they are, can give an idea of where things were in the past, but shed far less light on the future direction and focus for investment currently in the market. The AcuComm database currently holds 61 waste-related projects in France for the 2013-2019 period. These are worth US$3,318 million, or around US$54 million each on average. Total annual capacity is just over 6.9 million tonnes, equal to 114,074 per project and around 350 tonnes per day per project. Power/heat generation amounts to an estimated 297 MW or 4.9 MW each on average.

The greatest number of projects are for recycling facilities. There are 17 of these, although they tend to be relatively small in size with an average value of US$26 million. There are 15 WtE incineration facilities currently listed, with an average value of US$71 million. These unsurprisingly account for the bulk of the additional power capacity, at 201 MW, equal to 68% of the total.

france-graph2Source: AcuComm database, September 2019. Click here to explore the full dataset online.

Out of the 61 projects, 29 are currently operational, with 17 under way and the remainder in various stages of planning. The map below shows the location of these projects, where known.

france-mapSource: AcuComm database, September 2019

Planning ahead with waste management

We’ve seen in recent articles how waste management can often be overlooked, or at best an afterthought, in the wider business of urban planning. West London looks likely to have to dismantle a new WtE facility in order to accommodate the city’s growing air transport needs. And in many Chinese cities, state-encouraged urban growth has led to waste generation outstripping existing means of treatment.

But that’s not always the case. On 7th January 2019, the Danish Government and Hvidovre Municipality announced an agreement to initiate the work to build nine new artificial islands as part of what will become the largest land reclamation project in Scandinavia. The project, entitled Holmene (‘the Islets’), will comprise 3 million square metres of land, located 10 km south of Copenhagen. The largest of the nine islands will be reserved for the development of green technologies, including what will be the biggest waste-to-energy (WtE) plant in Northern Europe. Along with related biowaste and waste water facilities, the project will be able to generate around 35 MW of electricity, enough to fulfil the present needs of around 25% of the population of Copenhagen.

The project is ambitious, and work is expected to begin only in 2022. The first islet, which will be home to the WtE plant, will be finished by 2028, and the whole project will be completed by 2040, according to current plans. The project’s designer is Urban Power, based in Copenhagen.


There are a few other large integrated projects of this nature around the world. One is Hong Kong, which is currently building a range of waste management facilities on an artificial island. The centrepiece is a 55 MW WtE plant capable of handling 3,000 tonnes of waste per day. The site will also include an MBT plant and wastewater processing facilities. The project was first mooted in 2008 and received approval in 2015. Work on land reclamation began in 2018. The WtE plant is due to become operational in 2024.

While planning ahead is clearly laudable, there are pitfalls. Large projects are more prone to delays, be they technical, regulatory or financial. Those delays may have nothing to do with the waste management component. Also, project management is more of a challenge, as a range of companies need to be involved, with different and possibly competing priorities and areas of expertise. Finally, attempting to plan for needs decades in advance runs the risk of getting those needs wrong, on either the high or low side. But on balance, it’s surely far better to try to look ahead.

#Editor’sPick – WtE Facilities

Finland – WtE Plant

Construction of a €112 million WtE plant

Construction is expected to begin on a new waste-to-energy (WtE) plant in Salo towards the end of the month. Steinmüller Babcock Environment has been awarded the contract for the boiler plant.

The facility, located adjacent to the waste processing centre at Korvenmäki, will process up to 120,000 tonnes of municipal and commercial waste each year. It will produce 180-190 GWh of heat and a further 72 GWh of electricity.

Completion is scheduled for June 2021.

See more from this project.

UK – WtE Facility

Development of a 51 MW WtE facility

Wheelabrator has put forward proposals to develop a WtE facility at the A303 Enviropark near Andover, Hampshire; which will convert post-recycled waste into renewable baseload energy.

From the 450,000 tonnes of waste processed each year, the plant will produce enough energy to power over 110,000 homes.

Catch up on the latest from this project.

AcuComm’s Daily Full Access Project – Macedonia Landfill

Construction of the country’s first landfill meeting EU standards

Last month, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) announced that Macedonia’s first landfill to conform to EU standards had been completed.

Continue reading AcuComm’s Daily Full Access Project – Macedonia Landfill

AcuComm’s Daily Full Access Project – Poland WtE Facility

Construction of a WtE facility

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) announced that it is funding part of a new waste-to-energy (WtE) plant in Olsztyn. Development consent and approval of the environmental impact assessment was granted in December 2015.

Continue reading AcuComm’s Daily Full Access Project – Poland WtE Facility

AcuComm’s Daily Full Access Project – Ethiopia WtE Plant

Construction of a waste-to-energy plant

Earlier this week, the Reppie waste-to-energy (WtE) plant was inaugurated in Addis Ababa. It is the first facility of its kind in Sub-Saharan Africa, with the capability to process around 350,000 tonnes of municipal solid waste each year.

Continue reading AcuComm’s Daily Full Access Project – Ethiopia WtE Plant

Weekly Projects Update – 46 new/updated projects, worth an estimated US$4,681m

In the week ending 10th August 2018, AcuComm added 22 new projects and updated 24 in our database. These projects have a combined estimated value of US$4,681 million.

The AcuComm database now holds over US$347 million worth of worldwide waste projects.


 New Project | Updated Project | Full Access Project

Continue reading Weekly Projects Update – 46 new/updated projects, worth an estimated US$4,681m

Weekly Projects Update – 47 new/updated projects, worth an estimated US$10,237m

In the week ending 13th July 2018, AcuComm added 13 new projects to our database and updated a further 34. These projects have a combined estimated value of US$10,237 million.

This brings the total number of projects in the database to 5,203. In total, they have an estimated value of US$346.2 million.


 New Project | Updated Project | Full Access Project

Continue reading Weekly Projects Update – 47 new/updated projects, worth an estimated US$10,237m

AcuComm’s Daily Full Access Project – Sweden Biorefinery

Construction of a 300,000 tpa biorefinery

SCA Biorefinery Östrand is planning to build a new biorefinery at its Östrand pulp mill site. Around 300,000 tonnes of biofuels would be produced each year for transportation uses, along with 120,000 tonnes of biocoal to be processed into pellets and 110,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide.

Following an environmental impact assessment, it is hoped that the permitting process will be initiated. This is expected to happen by the end of the year.

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