CEO’s review on the successful year 2017
At Westenergy, the development of the utilisation rate and the well-being of staff are key factors in the operations of the waste incineration plant. In 2017, the plant also started preparing for more stringent environmental standards and for adaptation to legislative changes. Managing Director Olli Alhoniemi is pleased to announce the key issues and events in last year’s operations.
All in all, year 2017 passed very well. Our utilisation rate and efficiency were excellent, and we made a record for district heating and electricity production. The investments made during 2016 proved their worth both operationally and financially. Our facility is again in very good shape and the prime goal was to maintain the plant’s high utilisation rate and incineration capacity; and in that we succeeded well last year.
At present, the EU is preparing for the so-called Reference Document on Waste Incineration, BREF (Reference Document on Best Available Techniques), which defines, among other things, Member States’ environmental standards for the waste-to-energy utilisation, i.e. the amount of flue gas emissions and best practices. The emission regulations are becoming more stringent with the document, so we are now preparing for them. With our current technology, we may not be able to fully comply with the new stringent flue-gas treatment standards. Therefore, we have conducted a study on flue gas scrubbers. In 2017, we obtained an environmental permit for the construction of a flue gas scrubber, but after the BREF will be completed (presumably in 2019), the environmental permit requirements must be revised to the extent required by BREF. This means, among other things, checking the emission limits for flue gases. By investing in a flue gas scrubber, we can also increase our district heating capacity.