Five sites sought for Metro Vancouver waste-to-energy plant

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News Local, Waste to Energy
By Michael Mui, 24 Hours Vancouver
Sunday, August 11, 2013 3:42:23 PDT PM
waste-to-energy-newsMetro Vancouver wants to identify five sites where it could place a new waste-to-energy plant.

The regional authority is taking proposals to lease or purchase land — at least three hectares in size — from local governments, corporations, First Nations or private citizens, among others, for long-term use. Submissions are open until Oct. 15 and Metro Vancouver expects the new facility to be completed by 2018.

Ten companies have abeen shortlisted to develop the technology that would power the plant. Six of the companies favour incinerating garbage to turn a steam turbine or to generate heat. One company supports gasification, which can generate steam as heat, or produce something called “syngas” to convert to fuel.

Another three want a mix of technologies which could include both options listed above, as well as methods such as anaerobic digestion to create biogas, densification of the waste to produce fuel, or other means.

According to a June report, waste-to-energy is considered a cheap option during the long term, since the facility can generate electricity and heat. The report said it’s also considered the most environmentally sustainable option, compared to landfills.

Currently, Metro Vancouver handles about one million tonnes of waste annually. Waste that isn’t recycled or composted is either sent to the existing 25-year-old incinerator in Burnaby, or to a landfill.

The new facility is expected to handle 370,000 additional tonnes of waste each year.