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Energy recovery from waste

For the A2A Group the recovery of energy from waste and biomasses is an important activity within its energy source diversification policy. This activity is mainly developed in Lombardy through its plants in Brescia, Milan, Bergamo and Pavia, and in Campania with the management of the Acerra waste to energy plant.
The electricity produced from waste10 in 2011 amounted to 12.4% of the total produced by A2A, with an increase of almost two percentage points over the previous year, while thermal energy reached 44% compared to 43 % in 2010.
For each tonne of waste, on average 813 kWh of electricity and 606 kWh of thermal energy are produced. The increase over the previous year is due in part to the extraordinary maintenance carried out and in part to the higher energy content in incoming waste.

Investments for improvements to achieve increasing efficiency were scheduled at the following waste to energy plants in 2011:

  • Bergamo – the plant is able to provide up to 25 thermal MWh (corresponding to the requirements for heating and sanitary purposes of approximately 4 thousand residential units), with a production of electricity varying between 8.3 and 10.6 electric MWh depending on the demand for thermal energy;

  • Silla2 in Milan - the power available at low voltage for the district heating network will increase from 68 MW to 118 MW in 2012, to arrive at 135 MW in the 2013-2014 thermal season.

  • Acerra: see the caption below.



The Acerra waste to energy plant

With around 614,000 tonnes of waste treated arriving from the seven Waste Shredding, Sifting and Packaging (STIR) plants of the Campania region, the Acerra waste to energy plant reached and exceeded in 2011 its nominal capacity of 600,000 tonnes, at the same time maintaining the high standards of environmental performance already encountered in 2010. As the result of the enhancement of the waste treated, the electricity produced and put into the national grid, excluding that for self-consumption, amounted to 549 GWh.
Entering service during the year were a continuous system for monitoring emissions, as an addition to that already existing, a continuous system for monitoring mercury and a system for sampling organic micro-pollutants. The controls carried out by these systems confirmed that the limits required by the Integrated Environmental Authorisation (Autorizzazione Integrata Ambientale - AIA) are being fully complied with by a large margin, as well as national and European legislation on waste to energy treatment.
Five monitoring campaigns were also carried out in 2011 by accredited laboratories which confirmed the reliability of the plant and the efficiency of the fume treatment system, which always noted full compliance with the authorised limits, including for those parameters not subject to continuous measurement.
In addition, monthly campaigns were carried out to measure water discharges and two campaigns to measure the underground water, which confirmed that emission values comply with the requirements included in the plant’s authorisations.
From the standpoint of CO2 the Acerra waste to energy plant enabled emissions of approximately 270,000 tonnes of CO2 to be avoided in 2011.
In 2011 Partenope Ambiente set out on the path to the certification of its Management Systems, adopting the integrated policies of Quality, Environment and Safety with the aim of obtaining EMAS registration for the Acerra waste to energy plant by the end of 2013.

10 Renewable and non-renewable fraction