Plasco Energy Group Inc. has announced that it will build a 150,000-metric-tons-per-year Waste Conversion Facility in Ottawa. The announcement comes just days after the city of Ottawa said on Dec. 14 it had signed agreements with Plasco.
The facility will be built to the Plasco Conversion System (PCS) design and will incorporate three proprietary Integrated Converting and Refining System (ICARS) modules. Effective throughput of the facility will be 130,000 metric tons per year. Under the contract announced by Ottawa, the city will supply 109,500 metric tons per year of Ottawa’s municipal solid waste (MSW) and has a right of first refusal to supply the balance of plant capacity. The first 20 years are firm with four 5 year extensions at the option of the city. Construction is expected to commence in the second half of 2013 with commercial operation planned for the first half of 2015.
The city has leased the site for the facility to Plasco for what it says is a nominal cost and will pay a tipping fee for each metric ton processed of $83.25 per metric ton, escalating annually at the rate of increase in the Consumer Price Index. Ottawa makes no other financial contribution and will have no other risk or obligation. The city estimates that the deal will extend the life of Ottawa’s existing landfill by at least 28 years saving it approximately $250 million in future landfill capital costs.
The PCS breaks down garbage using Plasco’s patented ICARS system, which gasifies the waste and refines the resulting gas using plasma technology. Clean, synthetic gas created from the waste fuels General Electric Jenbacher internal combustion engines, together with a steam turbine driven by heat recovered from the process and engines, to produce approximately 15 megawatts (MW) of net electricity that will be sold to the grid. Residual solids are refined using Plasma to produce slag which meets requirements for a range of applications, including construction aggregates and abrasives. Moisture in the waste is recovered, cleaned and made available for reuse in the community.
There are no emissions into atmosphere in the conversion process, according to Plasco. The synthetic gas is consumed as fuel by the engines with any unused gas sent to a flare. Exhaust from the engines and flare have emission levels significantly below the most stringent standards in the world, the company adds.
The ICARS modules will be manufactured in Ontario and site construction and assembly of the PCS will create about 200 construction jobs. The facility will permanently employ 42 operations technicians. Construction and operation of the facility will be subject to receipt of and compliance with the terms of Environmental Compliance Certificates to be issued by the Ontario Ministry of the Environment.