A framework agreement between Pembrokeshire and Ceredigion County Councils including an option to export refuse dervied fuel (RDF) to Sweden is set to save the local authorities £350,000 annually.
Developed with consultancy Eunomia, the framework is available to all other councils in Wales and allows them to buy waste disposal services from seven suppliers, of which five offer export solutions.
Pembrokeshire and Ceredigion’s contracts are with Potters Waste Management and involve exporting RDF. The first shipment is expected to take place in early June.
Waste will be processed to remove recyclables at Pembroke Port and Lampeter. The remaining waste will then be shredded, baled and wrapped at Pembroke Port to create RDF, which will be exported to a Swedish power station to produce electricity and heat for households in Sweden.
Eunomia claimed an excess capacity in Swedish EfW plants makes this a low-cost treatment option. Furthermore the Swedish combined heat and power technology enables more energy to be extracted from the waste compared to most UK incinerators.
Export activities will create 11 jobs at Pembroke Dock.
The framework is a response to financial pressures faced by local authorities in Wales regarding the management of their municipal waste, said Eunomia.
Joe Papineschi, who leads the project for Eunomia, said: “Using the framework agreement simplifies the process of tendering for residual waste treatment, and makes some very competitive prices available both from UK and overseas facilities.
“There are real opportunities for councils in Wales to quickly and cheaply access very high quality facilities.”
Richard Brown, head of environment and civil contingencies at Pembrokeshire, said: “It provides a flexible, low-risk, value-for-money approach that enables us to divert waste from landfill in the short term, but avoids committing too much waste to incineration in the long term as recycling rates escalate.”