JULY 2011

Joint venture formed to mine landfills for energy creation

Advanced Plasma Power (APP), a UK-based waste-to-energy company and Group Machiels, a global waste management firm, announced a major joint venture in order to undertake the first enhanced landfill mining project in the world – involving an investment of hundreds of millions of Euros.

The Closing the Circle concept, an enhanced landfill mining concept, has been developed by Group Machiels in collaboration with a consortium of academic partners (KULeuven, VITO, UHasselt), extracting the maximum value from historic waste streams as materials and energy, as well as CO2 sequestration or offsetting.

The Closing the Circle concept is being implemented in the project at the landfill site of Remo Milieubeheer NV in Houthalen-Hechteren, Belgium, a subsidiary of Group Machiels. More than 16 million tons of waste are stored at that landfill site. The type, amount and location of the waste stored is well documented, allowing its effective and efficient mining. Around 45 percent of the stored waste can be recycled as material. The recycling residue can be processed through APP’s patented Gasplasma technology, Europe’s first sustainable waste-to-energy application of this kind.

The joint venture aims to construct an energy plant using up to five Gasplasma units, with a net electrical power of 75 to 100 MW. The energy produced by the Gasplasma units will be fed into the national electricity grid in Flanders.

The Gasplasma process is a gasification and plasma conversion technology that converts the waste stream into a clean hydrogen-rich syngas and a vitrified recyclate product called Plasmarok that can be used as a building material or replacement aggregate. The Gasplasma process destroys harmful gases leaving the high quality syngas to be used to generate clean, renewable, local energy.

The Gasplasma process is suited for the Closing the Circle project, which will see the Remo landfill site that has been in use since the 1970s, returned to its original state with green spaces to be enjoyed by the community.