Approval for new sewage-sludge mono-incineration plant in Helmstedt

On December 10, 2019, EEW Energy from Waste Helmstedt GmbH was granted approval under pollution-control legislation for the construction and operation of a sewage-sludge mono-incineration plant (SMP) at EEW‘s Buschhaus site. The first of the EEW group‘s current total of three SMP projects in Germany has thus cleared an important hurdle. As long ago as October, EEW was able to commence initial work for preparation of the construction site, on the basis of a corresponding approval issued by the responsible Trade Supervisory Office. The official laying of the foundation stone is planned for January of next year. In addition to Helmstedt, EEW is planning plants at Stapelfeld, near Hamburg, and Stavenhagen, in Mecklenburg.

„I am exceptionally pleased that we now have in our hands the first approval for construction and operation of a sewage-sludge mono-incineration plant at our home location in Helmstedt“, affirms Bernard M. Kemper, Chairman of the EEW Board of Management. „This makes reality of our business plans for thermal sewage-sludge treatment in mono-incineration plants based in Helmstedt, in Lower Saxony, and the EEW group‘s first SMP can now go on stream in 2021.“

„Given best possible progress on the project, we‘ll start treating sewage sludge at the Buschhaus location in the final quarter of 2021“, adds Guido Lücker, Technology Director at EEW Helmstedt. Construction work  started on 1 January 2020.

The Helmstedt mining region is an energy location with a long tradition. Energy was generated here from lignite for more than a century, until waste began to replace the fossil energy source, coal, as the fuel for the Buschhaus Thermal Residual Waste Pre-treatment Plant (TRWPP) in 1998. It has now taken less than a fifth of that time to introduce a new source of energy, in the form of thermal sewage-sludge valorisation, and to thus simultaneously lay the foundation stone for the recovery of a vital resource, phosphorus, notes Rüdiger Bösing, Commercial Director of EEW Helmstedt. „I view our project, at the same time, as an important element in the economic regeneration of the open-cast mining region here.“ An SMP supplies only the high-purity mono-incineration ash needed for phosphorus recovery. This is to be recycled in facilities designed specifically for this purpose. „Assuming suitable sites at this location, and possible restructuring funding from the Commission on Growth, Structural Change and Employment, such a plant would be conceivable at Buschhaus,“ Bösing confirms. More than 80 % of the phosphorus contained in the ash could then be recovered well before the legal obligation comes into force in 2029.

EEW Energy from Waste (EEW) is a leading European company in the field of thermal-route valorisation of waste and sewage sludge. The company develops, builds and operates state-of-the-art plants for the sustainable energy-route utilisation of these resources and is thus an indispensable player in a closed and sustainable circular economy. Some 1150 employees working in the EEW group‘s currently eighteen facilities in Germany and neighbouring countries bear responsibility for the energy-route recycling of an annual total of up to 5 million tonnes of waste. EEW recovers the energy contained in the waste, using it to generate process steam for industrial purposes, district heating for residential areas and environmentally friendly electricity. This energy-route valorisation of the waste combusted in EEW‘s plants conserves natural resources, recovers useful feed materials and helps to reduce the CO2 burden on the climate and the environment.


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