Metro Vancouver's existing waste incinerator in south Burnaby burns 280

Metro Vancouver's existing waste incinerator in south Burnaby burns 280

Metro Vancouver short lists waste-to-energy bidders

Mass-burn incinerators, Delta cement plant advance

The company that operates Metro Vancouver’s existing garbage incinerator is one of several bidders now short-listed by the regional district to build a new waste-to-energy plant.

Covanta Energy has hedged its bets with two proposals that were short-listed by Metro – one for a mass-burn incinerator and the other to build a gasification plant.

A total of 10 proposals out of the 22 received have been short-listed based on proponents’ proven track record converting garbage into energy and the expertise of their teams.

Metro intends to add 370,000 tonnes per year of new waste-to-energy capacity, but the project is controversial and under steady attack from Fraser Valley critics over air quality concerns as well as others who see incineration as a threat to increased recycling.

Seven of the 10 proposals are for mass-burn incinerators.

Besides Covanta, they include engineering giant Aecom, Plenary Group Canada, Energy Answers International, Termomeccanica Ecologia, Wheelabrator Technologies and Aquilini Renewable Energy.

Aquilini has been in talks with the Tsawwassen First Nation to potentially base an incinerator on treaty lands there.

Another short-listed proponent – Lehigh Cement – proposes to pre-process garbage as refuse-derived fuel and then burn it at its Delta cement plant on River Road at Tilbury Island, offsetting its use of either coal or natural gas.

Energy Answers’ incinerator proposal would also pre-process waste as refuse-derived fuel (RDF).

RDF systems typically dry garbage, remove inert materials and otherwise process the waste so it burns better and hotter.

The only other short-listed proponent, Mustang JFE, proposes to combine an RDF approach with anerobic digestion of organics along with gasification.

According to a Metro report, gasification systems typically convert waste to a gas stream that is directly combusted or can be converted into a syngas, which can be converted into a fuel or other product.

Proponents that didn’t make Metro’s short list include Chilliwack Bioenergy Group, as well as several other firms, some of which proposed lesser known technologies.

Some Metro directors had previously voiced concern the process would ultimately  result in a mass-burn incinerator, rather than the use of emerging alternative waste-to-energy technologies.

The Metro staff report on the short list notes Metro hired a third-party expert panel and a fairness advisor to ensure the procurement process is not biased in favour of any particular technology. The fairness advisor and third-party expert panel both endorsed the process to rate proponents and the outcome so far.

Richmond Mayor Malcolm Brodie, chair of Metro’s zero waste committee, said a new waste-to-energy plant would be far advanced from older ones.

“Improvements are being made to the technology all the time,” he said. “There’s great interest in this entire area within the professional realm.”

Apart from the potential sites like Lehigh in Delta, Metro Vancouver residents are still a long way from learning if the new plant may be built in their neighbourhood.

Metro will ask for land owners who want to propose their properties to step forward this summer. Five short-listed sites, along with others that the short-listed proponents have secured, are to be made public later this year.

Metro intends to pick a site by 2015, which would later be paired with a winning proponent, which would complete the new waste-fired plant built by 2018.

Brodie said Metro has not yet decided if a single plant or multiple plants will be built, nor whether the final site will be in the Metro region or out of region.

Covanta is expected to offer to build its plant either within the Metro region or else at a former pulp mill in Gold River, on the west coast of Vancouver Island.

Covanta was criticized last year after its staff at the Burnaby incinerator were slow to notify the Cache Creek regional landfill that outgoing loads of fly ash had failed tests for leachable cadmium. Metro halted dumping of the ash at Cache Creek, pending more tests and a still-ongoing investigation.

As with the Burnaby incinerator, which burns 280,000 tonnes of waste per year, Metro would own it but the winning proponent would operate it. Metro would borrow the money to build the new plant – expected to cost on the order of $500 million.

Just Posted

Kalyn Head, seen here on June 4, 2021, will be running 100 kilometres for her “birthday marathon” fundraiser on July 23. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Chilliwack woman’s 100-km birthday marathon to benefit Special Olympics B.C.

Kalyn Head hopes run raises awareness, advocates for inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities

Dancers from the Sts’ailes First Nation perform the eagle dance at a welcome banner dedication ceremony on Thursday, June 10. “Ey Swayel” is a Halq̓eméylem term translated as ‘a good day.’ (Adam Louis/Observer)
VIDEO: ‘A good day’ for Agassiz school as Sts’ailes welcome banner is dedicated

Banner hangs above the school’s entrance, welcoming students, staff and visitors

RCMP investigating June 15, 2021 crash. (Black Press file)
Chilliwack RCMP say crash into median led to impaired driver investigation

Chrysler 300 driver allegedly collided with tree on Spadina median in June 15 incident

UFV athletes were honoured for their strength and perseverance during the pandemic. (UFV photo)
Fraser Valley athletes recognized in year without sports

UFV Cascades athletes honoured for strength shown during the pandemic

Abbotsford council has given permission for Chilliwack to use the JAMES wastewater treatment plant for the disposal of trucked liquid waste until the end of September.
Chilliwack gets exemption to Abbotsford bylaw prohibiting liquid waste from other cities

Process in place until September while new facility under construction in Chilliwack

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Police are asking for public assistance in locating Anthony Graham who has been charged with the murders of Kamloops brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer. (RCMP photo)
2 charged, suspect at large in killings of B.C. brothers linked to gang activity: RCMP

Kamloops brothers Erick and Carlo Fryer were found deceased in May on a remote Okanagan road

Albert Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney unveil an opening sign after speaking about the Open for Summer Plan and next steps in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta 1st province in Canada to lift all COVID-19 public health restrictions

70.2% of eligible citizens 12 and older in the province have received a dose of the vaccine

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Fraser Health registered nurse Ramn Manan draws a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine into a syringe at a walk-up vaccination clinic at Bear Creek Park, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Honour our fathers’ with COVID-19 vaccine protection, B.C. urges

109 new cases Friday, 75 per cent of 12 and up immunized

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is seen during a joint news conference following the EU-Canada Summit, in Brussels, Belgium, Tuesday June 15, 2021. Trudeau says Canada is on track now to have 68 million doses delivered by the end of July, which is more than enough to fully vaccinate all 33.2 million Canadians over the age of 12. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Vaccine deliveries enough to fully vaccinate all eligible Canadians by end of July

Three in four eligible Canadians now have their first dose, nearly one in five fully vaccinated.

A search is underway for a 75-year-old fisherman who went missing near Port Angeles Thursday evening. (Courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard)
Search continues for angler missing between Port Angeles and Victoria

Canadian, U.S. Coast Guard searching for 75-year-old man reported missing Thursday evening

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam listens to a question during a news conference, in Ottawa, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021. The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases attributed to the highly contagious Delta variant grew in Canada this week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s public health agency reports spike in confirmed cases of Delta variant

More than 2,000 cases of the variant confirmed across all 10 provinces and in one territory

Most Read