Largest French waste incinerator unveiled in Paris


The largest energy from waste plant in France has been unveiled in Western Paris, on the banks of the Seine.

Waste disposal authority SYCTOM, which represents the Western suburbs of Paris and neighbouring towns, has built the facility at Issy-les Moulineaux to treat 460,000 tonnes of residual waste a year, alongside a recycling facility for 50,000 tonnes.

The €580 million plant is operated by a consortium called TSI - which is lead by French renewable energy firm TIRU Groupe. Waste firm SITA is the other partner and takes control of the recycling facility.

The energy from waste plant uses a twin-stream moving grate system manufactured by Swiss firm Von Roll to burn over 30 tonnes of waste an hour. This produces steam which is fed into a 52MW turbine to generate electricity and is also used to provide district heating for buildings including the Musée D'Orsay.

The plant -  called ISSÉANE - came online in December 2007 and was unveiled this month. A spokeswoman for Tiru explained - "ISSÉANE is already an essential contributor to the production of renewable energy in the Paris region. More than 182,000 inhabitants rely on it for their district heating every year."

In order to fit in with its surroundings, two-thirds of the ISSÉANE facility is constructed underground - which, the company claims, has played a "crucial role" in its acceptance by residents.

The facility has also been given a green roof and wooden cladding - together with small chimneys - making it stand out from the energy from waste plant it has replaced, which still stands 500 metres away.

All of the communities which the facility serves are within a 10km radius of the sites, which helps to limit transportation to the site and, therefore, its carbon footprint.

The spokeswoman added - "The building itself begins 31 metres (or six storeys) below ground level and all traffic movement associated with waste deliveries takes place underground. The site's twin chimneys protrude no further than 5 metres above the green roofline, minimising visual impact."

Inside the facility, refuse collection vehicles deliver their waste in one of seven bays, from which it drops into a huge waste hall with an aspiration system to limit odour. Here the waste is picked up by two grabber cranes which load it into two hoppers - which, in turn, feed the boiler.

Combustion gases from the process are treated by an electrostatic precipitator which recovers more than 99% of the particles contained in them, according to the company. Flue gases are also treated to remove pollutants.

Bottom ash produced in the process is taken away on barges for re-use in aggregates. Scrap metal is recycled and fly ash is sent for hazardous waste disposal.

Bart Fourment, UK liaison for Tiru, estimated that the gate fee for the facility was about €85 a tonne, inclusive of energy sales and residue disposal costs. He explained that Tiru charged €30 a tonne -  which fell to €17 if energy revenue was taken away - and added - "This is incredibly cheap due to size factors, the sale of the steam and other factors."