At Augean, we have UK waste treatment and disposal infrastructure, and we focus on delivering best environmental outcomes. We also offer specialist Industrial Services with highly experienced and skilled operatives, who have access to an extensive fleet of specialist industrial cleaning vehicles, plant and equipment.
With our experience of servicing the EfW sector, below are some pointers which should hopefully be useful for EfW plant operators, and their stakeholders:
At the EfW plant design and EPC stages: We’ve sometimes experienced that the EfW silo and related infrastructure for ash residues have appeared to be an afterthought. One example is when we arranged the first collection of APCr from a new plant and we found that there was insufficient height for the tanker to maneuver beneath the silo discharge point, or another example where the tanker was restricted in the internal site traffic management plan in being able to access the silo. It’s fully understood that the main focus for EfW plant stakeholders will be on the waste bunkering, combustion, emissions control, CHP and hopefully the carbon capture elements of the plant, but it’s been best practice when we’ve been able to link up at the EfW design stage and with the EfW EPC contractor to ensure efficiencies are designed into the residue-end of the EfW plant process. The end result being that APCr from the EfW plant commissioning phase can be collected smoothly, with no unwanted surprises!
Selecting your APCr offtaker: APCr is hazardous and in fact you want it to be because it comprises any material that is caught by the EfW plant’s air pollution control system. Therefore, APCr should capture any ‘contaminants’, such as heavy metals, that you want to avoid being emitted through the EfW stack. From our experience, the key selection criteria for your APCr offtaker should be to ensure your offtaker can accept the APCr specification without charging ‘extras’ if it falls outside tight parameters. My advice is to avoid a situation akin to having a house extension where you agree a price with your builder and then, when the work is underway, cost-creep with extra, perhaps hidden, charges then start to add to the overall cost. Selecting an offtaker who can accept a wide APCr specification with treatment processes which are tolerant of APCr specification variables, is essential. Furthermore, it is also essential to ensure the APCr treatment offtaker has sufficient treatment capacity, and is not reliant on raw materials and can provide traceability of its treatment outputs. In my opinion, these selection criteria are the best de-risk position for EfW plants in order to provide cost certainty as well as ensuring service reliability and flexibility.
At the EfW plant operational stage: We work hard with EfW plant teams to eliminate the operational inefficiencies that cause service issues and cost. Scheduling collections weekly in advance and then reviewing and adjusting to flex collections with EfW plant performance is essential in order to optimise APCr collections. This aims to use the same tanker that delivers lime to the EfW plant to then collect from the APCr silo and saves cost and road miles. Using larger bodied tankers where the APCr is lighter in density often makes good sense.
During EfW plant shut-downs: Our experience has shown that it’s best practice to ensure the maintenance, such as boiler or silo cleans, is undertaken by an experienced EfW plant Industrial Services team who has the right kit of specialist plant, equipment and vehicles in-house, and with health, safety and compliance top-of-mind. It also greatly reduces add-on costs and provides a proper audit trail where the Industrial Services provider has the breadth of capability with its own infrastructure network to treat the wastes recovered from the cleaning process.
To find out more about this, as well as Augean's journey, come along to the EfW Conference 2023, where I will be chairing a session - you can book onto this here. EfW Network members can also purchase tickets at a discounted price, see more details here.