Greene builds gasification plant at Elche Business Park to treat sludge at Crete WWTP

Following verification tests, the facility will be shipped to Greece, where it will convert the sludge generated at the Rethymno WWTP into energy.

Greene Waste to Energy (Greene) is currently undertaking a project to develop and install a gasification plant to treat WWTP sludge in Crete (Greece). Technical experts from the companies that make up the Life Biosolids2Energy Programme have given the green light to the commencement of the assembly of the plant and pre-commissioning, which will be carried out at the Greene facilities located at the Elche Business Park.

The different parts of which the plant is made up have been delivered over a number of months and are now being mounted by technical staff to enable commencement of operational tests. The project partners expect the plant to be shipped to the city of Rethymno in Crete at the beginning of 2019. In recent days, 14 people from the University of Crete (TUC), the Murcia Centre for Energy and Environmental Technology, the  Rethymno municipal company for water supply and sanitation and British company EnginnovConstruction have visited Elche to tie up the final loose ends prior to embarking on the commissioning stage.

Project leader at Greene, Enrique Aráez, explained that “the Life Consortium intends to complete assembly of the plant components in June, with a view to commencing dry commissioning (without waste) in July. Starting in August, we will carry out tests with dewatered sludge in order to verify the behaviour of the plant”. The aim of this EU-funded project, which has a budget of €2 million, is to convert sludge from the Rethymno WWTP into energy, thereby reducing by 80% the amount of waste not used to date and limiting the pollution caused by this waste. The gas obtained will be converted into electricity and heat through a cogeneration process. This will enable significant energy savings at the WWTP because enough energy will be produced to cover its operation and maintenance requirements. The gasification plant will also enable the waste (sludge) to be availed of rather than sent to landfill, as is currently the case. Moreover, the sludge gasification process is carbon neutral.

When all the programmed tests are completed, assembly of the gasification plant at the Rethymo WWTP will commence. It is envisaged that the plant will go into operation in 2019.

In 2016, this project was selected for partial funding within the framework of the European Union LIFE Programme known as LIFE B2E4sustainable-WWTP, which seeks to contribute to sustainable development and the achievement of Europe 2020 Strategy targets.