Date: December 24, 2020
Covanta has won an 11-year nearly $60 million contract with the City and County of Honolulu to build a conversion facility that will extract usable resources from ash produced by Oahu's H-POWER plant. Another key benefit of the project will be to preserve precious capacity at the Waimanalo Gulch Sanitary Landfill, the island's only MSW landfill, which has been ordered to close by 2028. The conversion facility is expected to divert as much as 60 percent of the 180,000 tons of ash generated annualy by the 2,000 ton-per-day waste-to-energy plant that Covanta also operates. (85 percent of the MSW generated on Oahu goes to the plant).
The primary target is ferrous and nonferrous metal fines from bottom ash. H-POWER currently recovers 21,200 tons of metal from ash as it moves through the plant but a significant amount of metal that remains in the ash according to company spokesman James Regan. He says it's too early to estimate how much additional metal the ash processing facility will be able to yield.
Covanta will design, build and operate the facility based on its prototype plant in Fairless Hills, PA called the Total Ash Processing System (TAPS) that can currently process over 400,000 tons of bottom and fly ash from regional facilities.
Covanta awarded H-POWER ash contract
HONOLULU – Mayor Kirk Caldwell today announced the City and County of Honolulu awarded Covanta Projects LLC the project Design, Build, Operate and Maintain Combined H-POWER Ash and Automotive Shredder Residue Processing Facility contract.
"As an island with finite natural resources and land, we understand the importance of minimizing the impact from the waste we generate," Caldwell said. "Through our investments in the H-POWER plant, including our cutting edge sludge burning facility, we have led the way in recovering value from waste, while minimizing the amount we send to our Waimanalo Gulch Sanitary Landfill (WGSL). This new initiative takes that commitment one step further and will help to close the loop on how we sustainably manage the residue that remains from the waste we burn at H-POWER and provides us meaningful opportunities to recover value from it. This takes us one very significant step forward in reducing the need for an everyday landfill."
The contract was awarded Dec. 7, 2020, and will run for 11 years at a cost of $59.83 million. The first phase is the design and installation of the facility followed by 10 years of operation and maintenance. The city has an option to extend the contract for an additional five years (subject to the availability of funds and permit acquisition). The project would recover materials to potentially reuse in construction material and recover metals for recycling to reduce the annual volume of waste disposed at the landfill.
"ENV has been working since the beginning of our term to find a viable option for the ash byproduct of H-POWER as the industry needed time to develop the appropriate technology," ENV Director Lori Kahikina said. "Honolulu will be one of the first to deploy this type of technology to "clean" and reuse the ash versus disposing of it at WGSL. We are proud of the progressiveness of our H-POWER facility."
"We are excited to partner with our long-term client in Honolulu for an on-site solution for ash recycling and reuse," said Christopher Baker, Covanta vice president and general manager. "We look forward to finalizing the terms with the city and helping them get closer to the goal of a circular economy."
H-POWER, or Honolulu Program Of Waste Energy Recovery, began operations May 1990, under an initiative started by the late Mayor Frank Fasi, and is the foundation of the city's Integrated Solid Waste Management Plan. The waste-to-energy facility added a third boiler – mass burn – in 2012 and a sludge receiving facility three years later to handle wastewater biosolids. Historically, nearly 90 percent of the volume of municipal solid waste received has been diverted from WGSL and converted into renewable electric energy, supplying up to 10% of Oahu's electricity needs.
Annually, H-POWER produces approximately 180,000 tons of ash, which currently goes to WGSL.