Landfill gas in Rijeka – source for electricity production
Landfill gas-to-electricity facility has been completed in Viškovo, near Rijeka in Croatia. The cost of the investment in new plant was EUR 1.3 million, and it is located on the former “Viševac” landfill site.
Landfill gas-to-energy facility started probes in September 2016, while the full-time operations have been launched in January 2017, according to the Croatian portal direktno.hr.
The plant could not have been built before the Viševac landfill was repaired and rehabilitated, investment that cost EUR 8.6 million. The repair was financed by the City of Rijeka, other local authorities from that area, as well as the Fund for the environmental protection and energy efficiency.
Landfill gas-to-electricity facility was built within the rehabilitation process. Landfill gas, whose main ingredient is methane, is collected and used for the production of electricity, which is later sold to HEP, Croatian power utility company. The Mayor of Rijeka, Vojko Obersnel explained that at first, there was a plan to burn landfill waste on torches, but it was concluded that there is a more energy efficient way to use the waste, one which reduces emission
Obersnel said that the price of KWh was higher (during the probation period, 9.000 MWh was produced and sold to HEP for EUR 0.26 per KWh), yet the changes in the regulation that defines the status of privileged electricity producers took place. He believes that with future changes of the Law, which are already under way, the Čistoća (city waste utility company) will regain its status of privileged producer and achieve stimulative price.
The mayor of Rijeka emphasized that such investment reduces the consumption of other fossil fuels and he expects that the investment with current price will pay of in several years, and if the price goes up, that will happen even sooner.
It is estimated that some two million cubic meters of waste were disposed in Viševac landfill, since its inception in 1964. untill closure in 2011. Jasna Kukuljan, director of Čistoća, said that study showed that new plant will be profitable, both economically and ecologically. This is second plant of this type in Croatia – the first one was built in Jakuševac, near capital Zagreb.
In first two years, it is expected that around 10 millions cubic meters of gas will be collected annually, and then, in next 15 years, 8 to 9 millions. The project is financed by Čistoća company. The project team has chosen compact facility which has electricity generator that propels internal combustion engine, subsystems, management and protection systems, substations and a connection to the distribution network.
During the repair of Viševac, entire landfill was covered by impermeable material, which was then covered with layer of soil where the grass was planted. Surveillance station for air quality and noise control was built, fire escape path was constructed and protective fence was set. System for collection and drainage of leachate water was installed. Such water is pumped out on three pump stations and drained into the waste water and landfill gas condensate processing machine.
Landfill also has 52 gas wells connected into one system from which the collected landfill gas is led to the plant.
Officials of the City of Rijeka say that the entire project is in accordance with European initiative Covenant of Mayors and with Action plan of energy sustainable development of the city. Local authorities also point out that in recent years they worked harder to introduce integrated system of separated waste collection. For example, in 2013. around 2.000 tons of such waste was collected, and 3.000 tons in 2016., thanks to the improved training and availability of dumpsters.