MVV Environment Limited is an English registered company with its registered office in London. It is the subsidiary company of MVV Umwelt. Both companies are members of German utility company MVV Energie, whose headquarters are in Mannheim. MVV Umwelt provides flexible solutions for waste disposal, producing environmentally sustainable energy. In Germany, MVV Umwelt operates six Energy from Waste and biomass plants, managing 1.6 million tonnes of waste a year. With over 45 years’ experience, MVV Umwelt is in the top three companies in Germany in its field.
With consolidated sales of 3.6 billion Euro and around 5,900 employees, MVV Energie AG is Germany’s largest publicly listed municipality network. Majority shareholder of MVV Energie AG is the City of Mannheim, thus guaranteeing the company’s stability and ensuring the close relationship between the local utility company and the people of Mannheim. The company has developed its waste management, Combined Heat and Power and biomass energy portfolio through MVV Umwelt, the German parent company of MVV Environment.
MVV Umwelt has unrivalled experience in building and operating waste management facilities in Germany and wants to bring this experience to the UK. The efficient and highly successful German plants operate process steam systems and power generation as well as processing around 1.6 million tonnes of waste per year. MVV Environment can provide long-term solutions to the management of the UK’s waste, in a sustainable and efficient manner for the benefit of waste disposal authorities, local communities and private waste management companies.
Energy from Waste
MVV Environment aims to replicate the success of MVV Umwelt in the energy from waste sector in the UK. The EfW plant at Mannheim, built in 1964 and modernised since then, produces around 200,000 MWh of energy and 400,000 MWh of process steam. It has the capacity to process around 575,000 tonnes of non-recyclable waste every year. Information about all of MVV’s EfW plants is available here. Our picture shows the EfW facility at Leuna.
MVV Umwelt also specialises in generating energy from renewable biomass sources, especially waste wood. The Wicker Biomass facility for example generates 120,000 MWh of renewable energy from scrap wood that would otherwise go to landfill. Altogether, the three biomass facilities of MVV Umwelt generate about 440,000 MWh of electricity per year – enough power for 110,000 three-person households.
In Britain, as well as across Europe, dealing responsibly with our waste is becoming increasingly important. Old ‘solutions’ such as landfill have been proven to be extremely harmful to the environment, human beings and wildlife. Consider this extract from a Greenpeace article:
“Planet Earth is 4,600 million years old. If we condense this inconceivable time span into an understandable concept, we can liken the Earth to a person of 46 years of age. Nothing is known about the first 7 years of this it’s life, and whilst only scattered information exists about the middle 35 years, we know that only at the age of 42 did the earth begin to flower. Dinosaurs and the great reptiles did not appear until one year ago, when the planet was 45. Mammals arrived 8 months ago; in the middle of last week, human like apes evolved into ape like humans, and at the weekend the last ice age enveloped the Earth. Modern humans have been around for 4 hours. During the last hour we discovered agriculture. The industrial revolution began 1 minute ago. During those sixty seconds of biological time, humans have made a rubbish tip of Paradise.” (From ‘Against all odds’ – Greenpeace 1989)
Reducing, reusing and recycling our waste should be priorities for all of us. However, some waste simply can’t be recycled and this is known as residual waste. The best solution for this residual waste, and for waste wood, is to produce clean energy from it.
MVV Environment can provide long-term solutions to the management of the UK’s waste and waste wood, in a sustainable and efficient manner for the benefit of waste disposal authorities, local communities and the conservation of natural ressources.
A good solution for Plymouth, Devon and Torbay
MVV has signed a contract with South West Devon Waste Partnership to provide a waste treatment solution for the disposal of its waste. The company is proposing an Energy from Waste plant at North Yard, Devonport. The planning application for this project has been granted by Plymouth City Council.
The plant will deal with waste from Plymouth, Devon and Torbay that is not recycled or composted and will generate electricity as well as usable heat in combined heat and power (CHP) mode, thereby saving valuable fossil resources and reducing carbon dioxide output.
Facts and Figures
MVV is proposing an Energy from Waste plant at North Yard, Devonport. This plant will use the energy stored in non-recyclable waste to produce heat and electricity. This technology is called “combined heat and power”; it makes optimum use of the energy stored in the waste.
The plant consists of four unique processes that operate together:
The Waste bunker
Refuse delivery vehicles drive into the fully enclosed tipping hall and deposit the waste inside a concrete bunker. Each tipping bay is equipped with a roller shutter door which is closed once the waste has been tipped into the bunker. The area is operated under negative pressure so that no odours or litter can escape the building. Once tipped, the waste is then moved by mechanical grabs to the combustion chamber where it is burned at high temperatures.
Boiler and bottom ash
The waste automatically burns on the combustion grate at temperatures of up to 1,300 °C. The residue arising from the combustion of the waste, called the incinerator bottom ash (IBA), is collected for further recycling. The recycled ash is then used as an aggregate substitute, for example in road-building. Alternatively, it can be used for quarry reclamation. The IBA amounts to about 23 per cent by weight of the waste delivered to the plant (about 57,000 tonnes per year).
The APC System
The Air Pollution Control (APC for short) system is the process that removes potentially harmful substances from the flue gas. For the plant at North Yard, MVV proposes a process called SNCR (selective non-catalytic reduction) together with the injection of dry bicarbonate (also used as backing powder) and activated carbon, together with a fabric filter.
The residue of the APC, including the fly ash, will be transported off-site in special sealed containers in the north of England under contract with a specialist contractor. APC residues are classified as hazardous because it is alkaline (like cement).
The emissions will reduced to below very stringent regulatory standards before being released to the atmosphere. MVV will continuously monitor the majority of emissions from the facility continuously. Other trace emissions must be monitored by sampling; this will be carried out at regular intervals as required by the Environment Agency and with its agreement. The emissions data will be logged and stored and reported to the Environment Agency. It will also be available on a weekly basis on MVV’s website.
The Environment Agency acts as an independent monitor of the plant’s outputs. If limits were breached, it has the power to shut down the plant and impose fines accordingly.
The use of the energy
In the boiler, water will be heated by the heat from the furnace, up to 420°C at a pressure of 60 bar. The steam will be sent to a high efficiency steam turbine which will generate up to 22.5 MW electricity and 23.3 MW heat. The steam will be used to heat the Dockyard and Naval Base, plus potentially in the future houses and offices in Plymouth. The majority of the electricity will be consumed by the dockyard and naval base. The balance of electricity will be exported to the national grid through an existing connection point.
The net efficiency of the plant will average 39 per cent, reaching a maximum of 49 per cent – compared with around 23 per cent for a standard EfW plant without Combined Heat and Power (CHP). This efficiency is significantly higher than other processes like gasification or anaerobic digestion.
Devonport EfW CHP Facility