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Valtalia executes proprietary project to put Galicia at the forefront of waste treatment and recovery worldwide
Hand-in-hand with SOGAMA, Galicia has become a global waste treatment and recycling benchmark. And the region has just taken yet another decisive step forward with the construction of a new sorting plant for materials deposited in the black bag (conventional waste). This waste is generated everyday by the two million residents of the 295 Galicia municipalities that work with SOGAMA (94% of all municipalities in the region). The immensity of the logistics, coupled with the innovative, cutting-edge nature of the project, make this pioneering facility the most modern industrial infrastructure of its kind in Europe and one of the largest in the world. The entire project was executed by Galicia-based company Valtalia, implementing proprietary engineering.
The plant features a reception pit of 5,000 cubic metres and five treatment lines, each with the capacity to process 40 tonnes per hour. These lines are equipped with over 30 optical sensors to separate paper, board, glass and different types of plastic. The facility is also fitted with the most advanced safety systems and is fully prepared for Industry 4.0.
Subsequent to being built and fitted out by Valtalia in a period of eight months, the plant will now undergo a threemonth testing period to ensure that it is functioning perfectly. Definitive commissioning of the facility is expected to take place at the end of this year, thereby completing the first stage of the extension to the Cerceda environmental complex. Valtalia will also be responsible for the second stage, which includes the remodelling of the existing recycling, waste treatment and Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF) Production Plant. The overall project is scheduled for completion during 2019. The two plants will be capable of working both independently and in combination. Together, they will have the capacity to treat a million tonnes of municipal waste per annum. The main objective of the extension project is to recover recyclable materials from conventional waste (black bag).This is and will continue to be complemented by the production of Solid Recovered Fuel (SRF) from the appropriate portion of the unrecyclable fraction. This fuel is used in the complex’s Thermal Power Plant.
The contract for this dual initiative was awarded to Valtalia and the project will put Sogama amongst the leading companies in the sector worldwide. The benefits of the project include: a greater contribution to recycling, with four times higher recovery rates enabling over 120,000 tonnes of materials to be sent to processing industries to be converted into new resources; lower disposal rates, with the aim being to reduce the landfilling rate to 10% (the average rate in Galicia is currently 28%, while the rate for Spain as a whole stands at 57%), which is the target set for 2035 by the European Council. Sogama will, therefore, be in a position to meet this target over 15 years before it comes into force.
The most advanced European countries, and those with the greatest commitment to environmental protection, such as Germany, Sweden, Belgium and the Netherlands, have high recycling and energy recovery rates, illustrating their commitment to sustainable development by seeking a balance between economic growth, environmental protection and social cohesion. In line with the strategies of these countries, through the implementation of the two ambitious projects entrusted to Valtalia, Sogama is confident of technically achieving zero waste to landfill in the short term, meaning that the only waste landfilled would be waste which, due to its characteristics, cannot be recycled or is unsuitable for energy recovery processes.
Valtalia has integrated the new plants with the existing facilities at the complex, i.e.: RDF Warehouse; yellow bag Sorting Plant; Thermal Power Plant, and Auxiliary Services (Electrical Installations, Fire Protection Systems, etc.), thus enabling the coordinated operation of the industrial complex.