The waste-to-energy plant as a tourist attraction

Date: December; 12; 2012 | Author:
Return to news list

It is a multi-purpose plant that provides energy, waste treatment, and a local architectural attraction. Copenhagen's new waste-to-energy plant, Amager Bakke, combines the latest in technology and architectural innovation to lead the way to a future in which such plants will be welcomed rather than detested by its neighbors.

It is safe to say that waste-to-energy plants are not usually known for being tourist attractions. But this is all set to change when Amagerforbrænding's new plant, Amager Bakke, opens for operation in 2017. Once open, ski enthusiasts will be able to zip down the roof of a building that will be designed with the local community in mind when it comes to supplying energy, waste treatment, and fun. That is because Amager Bakke will consist not only of bold, visually appealing architecture, but a functional artificial ski slope and fresh air, as well.

The trump card

"The novelty of the project is that innovative technology is combined with innovative architecture in a project whose trump card is its appeal to the local community,” says Ole Hedegaard Madsen, B&W Vølund's Director of Technology and Marketing. B&W Vølund has been contracted to supply the boiler, furnace, feeding system, and particle and NOx-reduction system for the new plant.

The industry-wide interest in the new plant is overwhelming. "I've found that the plant is already world-renowned in the industry, before even being built. It's something I've discovered in such vastly different places such as South Korea, North America, and the Far East," Madsen remarks.

Fresh air over the landmark

Amagerforbrænding's Project Manager, Lars Juel Rasmussen, also sees the future plant as a showcase for Danish environmental technology.

"The plant sets itself apart in terms of environmental considerations, energy production, and its working environment. It is also located near the airport and just five kilometers from Copenhagen's Town Hall Square, so we're not just talking about an industrial installation, but a landmark of the Danish capital, as well. Flocks of people who would otherwise never take an interest in a waste-to-energy plant will stop by to have a look," comments the Project Manager, who is looking forward to working with B&W Vølund.

He is proud to be building a plant that utilizes more than 100% of the fuel's energy content, has a 28% electrical efficiency rate, reduces sulfur emissions by 99.5%, and minimizes NOx emissions to a tenth, compared to the old plant. The last-mentioned characteristic is possible thanks to a B&W Vølund flue gas filter, the SCR (in cooperation with the catalyst manufacturer Haldor Topsøe), which will be installed for the first time in a Danish waste-to-energy plant.

When Copenhagen residents come to enjoy in the architecture or try out the ski slope, they will be able to breathe freely without having to worry about inhaling harmful fumes from the fully operational plant, which will still treat some 400,000 tons of waste produced by over a half million inhabitants of the five municipalities that own the project.

A supreme environmental solution

Beyond the minimal emission of harmful fumes contained in the flue gas, the high degree of energy recovery is one of the main reasons why the plant's state-of-the-art technology is tough to compete with on the environmental front. Amager Bakke will operate with steam data as high as 440 degrees and 70 bars, which provides a high level of electrical efficiency.

Thomas Astrup, a lecturer at the Technical University of Denmark, performs life-cycle analyses of various forms of waste treatment, and his work also entails the analysis of waste-to-energy plants and the sorting of waste's organic fraction for biogas plants. His conclusions on the technology to be used at Amager Bakke are as follows:

"Among the tools and methods we have at our disposal for treating waste in Denmark, the state-of-the-art technology to be used at Amager Bakke is, overall, the most robust example that still offers an incredibly high environmental performance." As Astrup explains, this is because the plant makes full and efficient use of the energy contained in the waste, and it is robust because it is possible to process all types of waste as fuel and still obtain a high level of energy recovery.

More energy efficient

"With the Amager Bakke technology, we are able to use the organic fraction contained in the waste in an incredibly efficient manner. But that's not to say we're satisfied. B&W Vølund is constantly working to increase the steam data to ensure that the level of energy recovery is fully on par with alternative technologies used in waste treatment and energy production. Our goal is to reach 525 degrees and 100 bars within the foreseeable future," Ole Hedegaard Madsen remarks.

Facts about Amager Bakke

  • Amager Bakke is being constructed by Amagerforbrænding, which is owned by the Danish municipalities of Dragør, Frederiksberg, Hvidovre, Copenhagen, and Tårnby.
  • The total price is about 3.5 billion Danish kroner (approx. USD 610 mill.).
  • When the plant opens in 2017, it will be equipped with two furnace lines and replace a 45-year-old plant with four furnace lines. Amager Bakke will treat around 400,000 tonnes of waste annually produced by 500,000-700,000 inhabitants, and no fewer than 46,000 companies. The plant will supply electricity to a minimum of 50,000 households and district heating to 120,000 households. The plant will increase energy efficiency by 25% compared to the old plant with steam data at 440 degrees/70 bars. 

Source: Amagerforbrænding  

Projected commencement

March 2013   Ground-breaking
Autumn 2014  Machine installation
Autumn 2016  Initial waste treatment

Babcock & Wilcox Vølund will supply:

  • Crane
  • Feeding system
  • DynaGrate® with water-cooled wear zone
  • Ash system
  • Boiler
  • Electrostatic precipitator (ESP) for the reduction of particles in the flue gas
  • Selective catalytic reduction (SCR) for reduction of NOx emissions
  • Economizer for cooling of flue gas
  • Combustion control system

Want to know more

ARC, Copenhill, Amager Bakke, Copenhagen 


Return to news list