Weekly News Bulletin: Jan. 22-28, 2008


Europe to Add 100 New Waste-to-Energy Plants by 2012

A recent report projects that 100 new waste-to-energy plants will come on line in Europe by 2012 resulting in a capacity increase of some 13 million tonnes. According to the report's author, consulting firm Frost & Sullivan, waste management in Europe is no longer a haulage and disposal business. Legislative shifts of the past decade have driven the adoption of advanced technology and innovative recycling solutions. Despite the importance of recycling and waste minimization, waste-to-energy is seen as the only viable large scale alternative to landfills. The high capital costs required and complex energy partnerships involved are driving a shift away from traditional public ownership of the plants in favor of industry privatization. It also explains why there are only about 200 to 250 players in the sector (as of 2007) compared with other waste management segments. According to Frost & Sullivan's John Raspin, "It is inevitable that we will see further consolidation of the market and that investors from a whole range of backgrounds will continue to be drawn to this sustainable growth market."...Read More »



Abu Dhabi Pledges $15 Billion to Renewable Energy

The Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, capital of the United Arab Emirates, pledged to invest US$15 billion in renewable energy and other sustainability projects. The investment will be channeled through the Masdar Initiative, a company that aims to explore, develop and commercialize future energy sources, especially those that involve solar, wind and hydrogen power; carbon reduction and management; sustainable development; education; manufacturing; and research and development. Masdar will leverage the government's initial investment with joint ventures and other investment partners to create a portfolio many times larger...Read More »



Sen. Lautenberg Celebrates Regulation of Rail Waste Facilities

New Jersey Senator Frank R. Lautenberg and others gathered to announce the enactment of a one-year provision that allows states and municipalities to force cleanup of solid waste facilities along rail lines which had previously been exempt from state and local regulation. Up until now such "transloading" facilities by virtue of their association with the railroads, have avoided the increased costs and environmental controls required under state and local regulation. As a railroad they are regulated by the Surface Transportation Board (STB) under the Department of Transportation, which preempts state and local laws. Under Senator Lautenberg, Congress has been moving to close this unintended loophole by crafting specific legislation called the Clean Railroads Act of 2007 which aims to make the provision permanent. Without the provision, the courts and federal agencies had little choice but to uphold the exemption of these rail-based transloading facilities. In New Jersey alone, there are more than 16 current and proposed such sites...Read More »



White Birch Paper Acquires SP Newsprint for $350M

SP Newsprint Co, a privately held producer and recycler of newsprint, said it agreed to be bought by affiliates of Peter Brant, who is the controlling shareholder of White Birch Paper Co, for $350 million in cash. SP Newsprint is owned in an equal, general partnership by affiliates of Cox Enterprises Inc, Media General Inc and The McClatchy Co. McClatchy recently acquired the even larger Knight-Ridder newspaper chain requiring considerable debt. White Birch is the second largest producer of newsprint in North America. SP is the fifth largest producer of newsprint and the second largest producer of 100 percent recycled newsprint. SP produces about 1 million metric tons annually for which it generated sales of $638 million in 2006, the latest year for which figures are available. Industry consolidation is being driven in part by a declining newsprint market from lower newspaper demand, which fell 20 percent in 2006. But, economies-of-scale are at work too...Read More »



O'ahu to Expand Waste-to-Energy Plant and Ship Waste to Mainland

For now it appears that O'ahu, Hawaii will abandon plans to build a new waste-to-energy facility and will instead add a third boiler to its H-Power waste-to-energy plant. The third boiler could be added relatively quickly, by 2011, and would cost $100 million less than a new facility. Mayor Mufi Hannemann also announced plans to ship excess waste to the mainland as early as next year. The primary goal is to reduce dependence on the controversial Waimanalo Gulch near Kahe Point. H-Power currently employs 2 huge boilers that collectively burn 600 thousand tons of waste per year and generate 46 megawatts of electricity. The resulting ash necessitates that the landfill remain open as long as possible...Read More »



Corpus Christi Opens New Multi-Million Dollar Facilities

The City of Corpus Christi, Texas has opened a new $4 million transfer station at the site of its recently closed Elliott landfill. Also replacing the Elliott landfill is the new $29 million Cefe F. Valenzuela landfill 12 miles away. It opened on October 28 with a permitted capacity of 130 million cubic yards. The transfer station is expected to reduce travel time and fuel costs by keeping the heavy collection vehicles off the expressway. Elliott reached its 16 million cubic yards of capacity last November...Read More »



Georgia Power Contracts with Biomass Plant

Georgia Power has signed a 20-year contract with renewable power company Yellow Pine Energy Company, LLC to supply energy from a biomass-fired facility. The 110 megawatt facility will go into operation in 2010 and will be fueled by timber harvesting residuals and collection of non-commercial tree species, tree-thinnings, lumber scraps and wood waste reclaimed from landfills. Georgia Power has committed to purchase half of the plant's capacity, or about 50 MW...Read More »



Casella to Equip 800 Vehicles with On-Board Oil Refining System

Casella Waste Systems said that it is equipping about 800 of its trucks with on-board oil refining systems that promise to significantly extend the interval between oil changes and filter replacements. The system is expected to reduce the need for oil lubricants by as much as 28%. According to John W. Casella, chairman and CEO, "Every day, we are obligated to look at every aspect of the way we operate our business to find ways to more efficiently use and sustain our resources."...Read More »


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