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The Market for Mechanical Biological Waste Treatment in Europe (Analyst Version)

The Market for Mechanical Biological Waste Treatment in Europe (Analyst Version)

  • May 2017
  • 236 pages
  • ID: 5015469
  • Format: PDF
  • Ecoprog GmbH


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The business with mechanical biological waste treatment plants (MBT plants) continues to be a strong market. In the past 5 years, an average of about 25 new MBT plants were constructed annually in Europe. In this way, an average of about 2.2 million annual tons were commissioned each year.

In early 2017, Europe has a total of about 570 active MBT plants with a treatment capacity of 55 million tons. ecoprog expects another 120 facilities with an estimated capacity of almost 10 million annual tons to be commissioned between 2017 and 2025. Thus the market situation will continue to be strong in the coming years, although the speed of construction will decrease somewhat.

In many countries, the modernisation of existing plants will replace the new construction business. One reason for this is the production of RDF, which is increasingly pushed to reduce the landfilling fraction of the MBT plants. The altered composition of residual waste as a result of a stronger separate collection also requires investments in existing plants.

Against this backdrop, ecoprog has analysed the existing European MBT plants and forecast the future market development by using a transparent methodology.

The study ”The Market for Mechanical Biological Waste Treatment in Europe” includes:
- A valid estimation of the future market development by country, based on a transparent methodology.
- A competition analysis of the most important MBT plant operators on the European market.
- An overview of the most important plant technology as well as costs and revenues on the MBT market.
- A comprehensive explanation and analysis of the European legal framework.

Extract, Chapter 2, Plant technology

Different plant outputs also need different technology. Which kind of technology is applied, depends on the type of the customer and also on its own technology:
- The quality of the sorted recyclables, e.g. plastic or paper, differs by customer. Many of such customers are specialised sorting plants that “refine” the plastic, e.g. to mono-fraction granulate, by processing it through further sorting stages. Depending on the equipment of the sorting plants, their input material (i.e. an MBT plant’s output) requirements vary as well. Demands are usually higher for paper that is delivered to a paper mill directly, as many paper mills only have small capacities for installing further sorting and cleaning processes.

- The RDF the MBT plants produce is incinerated in different types of power plants, e.g. in waste incinerators, RDF power plants (power plants especially designed for these refusederived fuels), cement mills and coal-fired power plants. The requirements of these plants vary significantly. Co-incinerators usually make high demands on the RDF as this may not significantly affect their primary business purpose, for instance the production of cement.

Waste incineration plants can often handle material that has only undergone minor pretreatment, after all, they generally incinerated unsorted waste. Waste incinerators therefore make considerably lower demands, however, this also holds true for the prices. The grain size of the RDF does not play a major role for an RDF power plant equipped with grate combustion technology; however, when fluidised bed incineration is applied, the individual RDF particles are blown in and may therefore not exceed a specific maximum size.

- The specifications of the individual countries even differ for landfilling, e.g. in terms of technology or referring to individual limit values, such as the carbon share (TOC).

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