Thursday, August 23, 2012

Unique power plant burning “Energokompost” started operation, locals protest


Around 70 thousand tons of biodegradable waste may be annually processed in new power plant with composting part which started its commercial operation in the region of Zvolen. Its annual production of electricity should be around 51 thousand MWh and it employs around 30 people.

The costs of construction of the complete power plant were more than € 20 million.

The power plant owner and operator - Kompala PLC - claims it is the first of its kind in Slovakia. The electricity is produced from burning certified biofuel called Energokompost which is recovered from biodegradable waste containing wood chips, straw and sediments from neighboring sewage treatment plant.

Environmental but noisy …

Unique way of electricity production should be environmentally friendly and help to reduce CO2 emissions in comparison to electricity production from other conventional sources. 

Test phase of operation was interrupted in spring due to complaint against excessive noise filed by local inhabitants of Vlkanova village in whose vicinity the plant is located. Measurements performed by regional authority for public health confirmed the level is above permitted level and ordered to stop the testing unless the noise is decreased. The investor installed a silencer and in July the plant passed final inspection.

Kompala company also plans to build another 6 meters high acoustic wall. In press statement they also pointed out that the project is supported by well-known local businessman and current president of Slovak Football Association.

… and stinky

However, another problem perceived by local people is bad smell and ashes. On Thursday (August 23) the mayor of Vlkanova has sent another complaint to four environmental authorities about excessive bad odor, especially in hot weather. He explained that trucks even with foreign license plates are transporting sediments to the company and the Energokompost is not made from local waste as previously declared.

There is also a fear that some shipments come from industrial sewage treatment plants and might contain heavy metals.

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