Suez and Itochu were supposed to close the existing waste landfill in Vinča on January 31 and start using the new site next to it, CLS said and blamed the Belgrade city government for the delay.
Beo čista energija, a project firm responsible for the closure and rehabilitation of Belgrade’s landfill and the operation of the new one in the same area including a waste incinerator, failed to meet the deadline for the switch, said CLS, a nongovernmental organization active in municipal issues.
The new landfill in Vinča has been under construction for more than a year now next to the existing facility. CLS pointed to the fact that the private partners were supposed to make the transition by January 31. Suez from France and Japan’s Itochu have founded Beo čista energija and established a public–private partnership or PPP with Serbia’s capital city.
The organization said Belgrade’s authorities are late with necessary works and that a barrier holding the mountain of waste has cracked.
Fires, ash emissions to continue until old Vinča landfill is rehabilitated
“In practice, it means the air in Belgrade will still be polluted with ash emissions but also smoke from methane fires, all in defiance of the EUR 1 billion contract signed with the concessionaire and with increased surcharges for waste collection and treatment. It is also unclear why the city is planning to open its own landfills for construction waste in Krnjača, Surčin and Umka, as according to the said contract the treatment of such waste is the concessionaire’s responsibility,” CLS said.
The City of Belgrade hasn’t established a waste separation system, necessary for the operation of the future incinerator
The project is connected with numerous financial and practical disputes, the organization claims. Fires often erupt at the landfill, adding to extreme air pollution in Belgrade.
Major environmental issues
Environmentalists and activist groups have been warning that the waste incineration plant under construction in Vinča would make Belgrade lag behind Serbia’s efforts to reach the European Union’s recycling targets. On top of that, the city hasn’t developed a household waste separation system.
Critics also say plastics and paper need to be recycled instead of burnt and that incineration would cause pollution. The city’s representatives vowed to only use the waste that cannot be reused.
Incinerator to have 70 MW in heating capacity, 33 MW for electricity
Beo čista energija is installing a waste-to-energy cogeneration plant of 103 MW, of which 70 MW is planned for heating and the remaining capacity is for electricity production. Total landfill gas potential is estimated at 4.5 MW and a power plant under construction that will use it as a fuel is envisaged to have 3.2 MW.
The deadline for the entire project is August 2022, but the investors acknowledged some delays are possible due to pandemic-related equipment delivery issues. The planned complex includes a construction waste treatment unit. The firm obtained a privileged producer status for the two power plants, which means it would receive feed-in tariffs.