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The Warsaw Voice » Business » August 29, 2013
Business & Economy
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New Incinerator for Poznań
August 29, 2013   
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A modern incinerator will be soon built in the western city of Poznań in what will be the largest investment project of its type in Central Europe.

This will also be the first and biggest project of its kind in Poland. It will be carried out as part of a public-private partnership (PPP).

The facility will start operating in 2016 and enable Poznań to carry out its waste management strategy. Poznań is the fifth most populous city in Poland, with 552,400 inhabitants, and the seventh largest in terms of area (262 sq km).

The incinerator will be built by a special-purpose company called SITA Zielona Energia, owned by SITA Polska, part of French utility corporation Suez Environnement, and by the Marguerite Fund, a joint initiative by the European Commission and European banks. Under the PPP agreement, SITA will design, build, finance and then operate—for 25 years—the installation, which will process 210,000 metric tons of waste annually. SITA has 2,600 employees in Poland and collects 600,000 tons of municipal waste annually.

Jean-Michel Kaleta, CEO of SITA Polska, said he hopes the Poznań project will mark a breakthrough when it comes to the popularity of public-private partnerships in Poland in carrying out major investment projects.

“The benefits of PPP are huge,” Kaleta said. “The city secures a long-term price guarantee, which covers not only the construction costs, as in the case of traditional projects, but also the costs of operation and maintenance, so they can plan their budget in the long term,” he added.

Up to now multinational corporations were hesitant to build costly waste installations in Poland because there were not certain the local governments would provide them with sufficient amounts of waste to process.

According to experts, more incinerators are needed in Poland. “It’s hard to say how many incinerators should be built across the country. It looks that it is economically reasonable to have one incinerator per province,” said Kaleta.

The Poznań incinerator project comes at a time when the rules on waste management in Poland are changing to introduce more recycling and recovery, as recommended by Brussels. A new law on maintaining cleanliness and order in municipalities took effect in July, making municipalities directly responsible for waste collection and management.

Efforts to introduce the new rules have hit a few snags, including delays in the selection of companies responsible for managing municipal waste. Many municipalities may also have problems with waste because there are not enough processing installations across the country.

Overall, waste management is improving across Central Europe, experts say, due to rapidly growing standards of living, growing environmental awareness of the local populations and adaptation of local regulations to strict EU requirements. In Poland, the largest country in the region, 12 million metric tons of municipal waste is produced annually.
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