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Staßfurt. The core of the new thermal treatment plant in Staßfurt has passed its first test: the official water pressure trials were successfully completed on both steam boilers yesterday afternoon. A further milestone in the construction of the plant has, therefore, been reached six months before the first volumes of waste are due to be incinerated. "We are well within schedule," said Bernd Fleschenberg, managing director of REMONDIS' subsidiary EVZA Energie- und Verwertungszentrale GmbH. Since the laying of the foundation stone in March 2006, a total of 15,000m³ of concrete and 3,000 tonnes of steel have been used to construct the facility. The first volumes of waste are to be incinerated in December 2007 and the plant is expected to be running normally at the beginning of 2008. REMONDIS has invested around 150 million euros in this grate furnace plant and it is REMONDIS' only thermal treatment plant in eastern Germany. In the future, up to 380,000 tonnes of municipal waste and commercial waste similar to household waste will be processed into energy at Staßfurt.
These water pressure trials were carried out to test the strength of the boilers as well as to check they are water tight. During the tests, all of the boilers' water and steam heating surfaces and pipes were filled with water and then put under excess pressure. The trial pressure of 98.3 bar was way over the maximum pressure of the plant's normal operations. The trial was carried out by TÜV Nord, an independent body.
The plant will be able to run at full capacity thanks to the fact that REMONDIS is the country's largest environmental service company making it possible for it to take volumes from other thermal treatment plants and mechanical-biological treatment facilities. Furthermore, REMONDIS has been commissioned with the task of treating household waste from Braunschweig following a Europe-wide tender procedure and this waste is due to be processed at Staßfurt. The fact that these volumes of waste have been secured is especially important considering the current developments on the market in Germany: at the moment many new construction projects are being planned or are already in the process of being built. Ludger Rethmann, Board Spokesman at REMONDIS AG & Co. KG, commented, "There will already be an overcapacity in 2008 as a result of the current building boom. Companies, which are currently investing in thermal plants, must, therefore, ensure they have the necessary input volumes." There is already an overcapacity in Saxony-Anhalt. And other German states such as North Rhine-Westphalia are experiencing regional problems: the temporary storage facilities have been used up and there is a lack of material to be treated. According to the forecasts, there will be an overcapacity of several million tonnes across the country in just a few years' time.
Over the last few years, REMONDIS has increased its commitment on the market for regenerative energy: on the one hand it supplies alternative fuels and, on the other hand, it operates power plants. REMONDIS will be supplying the neighbouring soda works with the energy generated from the incineration process. The soda works will be using the energy to produce heavy and fine soda ash for the glass industry, the production of washing powder as well as for the chemical industry. The Staßfurt treatment plant will, therefore, result in fewer fossil fuels such as oil and gas being needed and so reduce CO2 emissions by a considerable amount. The EVZA will generate a total of 63,000 megawatt hours of electricity and 360,000 megawatt hours of steam a year.
With its 18,600 employees, REMONDIS is one of the world's largest privately run water and environmental service companies serving more than 20 million people. EVZA Energie- und Verwertungszentrale GmbH is a 100-percent subsidiary of REMONDIS.