Prolonged audit for EfW plant due to COVID

The COVID restrictions have given many EfW producers a year out of the ordinary. BIR Avfallsenergi AS in Norway had to move and extend its audit due to a lack of service personnel.

BIR Avfallsenergi AS in the town of Bergen sells around 250 GWh of district heating and 75 GWh of electricity annually to about 50 customers in the region. With an incineration capacity of 220,000 tonnes of waste feedstock, two annual audits are normally required to keep the two boilers in continuous operation.

However, this has not been the case during the COVID year of 2021, Erlend Ragnvaldsen, business developer at BIR Avfallsenergi AS, explains.

Erlend Ragnvaldsen at BIR in Norway.

– Normally we have two audits a year of around three weeks each, often set to April and September. This year, COVID created challenges since we were not able to bring in maintenance personnel from abroad. Hence, we were not able to carry out the audit in the spring as planned.

Instead, BIR ran a major audit in August and September for a total of five weeks. Simultaneously, the company has prepared for winter by grinding and baling industrial waste for incineration.

– We have now finished a full service of our two lines, where we go over the entire construction and the boilers to replace wearing parts. In this way we optimize and ensure that operations run smoothly for the rest of the year, says Ragnvaldsen.

A busy autumn

Ragnvaldsen claims that the COVID period has not been as challenging as first feared.

– We have had regular access to waste feedstock, even though the fractions and composition have been a little different than normal. Stagnating business due to COVID has led to less industrial waste and more household waste in our mix. But despite the audit challenges, operations have worked well this year, says Erlend Ragnvaldsen in BIR.

Petur Thor Haftorsson is Operations Manager at GWT in Norway.

Geminor Waste Treatment (GWT) assisted both BIR in Bergen and EfW company Frevar in Fredrikstad during their audit periods. GWT has been grinding, pressing, and baling industrial waste which now is stored for use throughout the winter.

– This time of year is normally busy, and in most markets we are working at full speed at the moment. For the assignment at BIR we brought our Flexus machine, which was running non-stop for five weeks and baled around 5,000 tonnes of waste for storage. At Frevar, we have baled around 3,000 tonnes of waste for incineration, says Operations Manager at GWT NO, Petur Thor Haftorsson.

– COVID has been a period out of the ordinary for many incineration plants in the Nordic region. Hence, this year’s changes in audits do not come as a big surprise, concludes Operations Manager at GWT NO, Petur Thor Haftorsson.

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