Waste and Biomass Power Plant Design and Operation

Marion Plasma Arc

Marion Plasma Arc

Marion, Iowa

  • Deltaway Services: Engineering review and feasibility assessment
  • Proposed Plant Capacity: 100-to-500 tpd
  • Technology: Plasma arc gasification
  • Client: City of Marion
  • Second quarter 2009 to third quarter 2009

Deltaway was invited to perform a short-term engineering review to help a municipality evaluate the potential of a waste-to-energy facility equipped with plasma arc technology. Deltaway reviewed heat and mass balance and process options from three plasma arc vendors; assessed a variety of power production, energy sales, and power grid interconnection options; estimated costs; and contributed to a financial pro-forma evaluation

Based on the results of our initial study, the city of Marion moved ahead with approval of a regional board and allocated funds to a start-up company called Plasma Power LLC  for preliminary engineering of 100-ton-per-day plant, using fuel from a regional landfill. Ultimately, this plant will be built in a larger nearby city with a greater energy demand, and in greater need of the plasma produced syngas feedstock.

Rozenburg WTE

Rozenburg WTE

Rotterdam, Netherlands

  • Deltaway Services: Facility management, engineering
  • Rated Plant Capacity: 3,500 tpd
  • Technology: Incineration technology by DBA, Germany
  • Operator: AVR; CKI, Hong Kong
  • Fourth quarter 2009 to fourth quarter 2015

In 2005, several investment funds joined together to acquire the Rozenburg plant. Over each of the following four years, the plant’s performance progressively deteriorated. Several plant managers were brought in to remedy the problems, but none was able to make a significant impact.

In late 2009, at the invitation of one of an owner firm, Deltaway conducted a global plant performance audit followed by an implementation plan and associated technical assistance. We also assigned a full-time Deltaway plant manager and a technical team to oversee the plan’s implementation.

The result was a comprehensive facility makeover that reorganized Rozenburg’s boiler outage management, implemented a new boiler inspection program, and launched a maintenance reliability program for less downtime. The makeover also optimized the plant’s steam cycle for increased power production and modified the combustion control logic to stabilize combustion and reduce emissions and equipment wear.

In just one year, Rozenburg’s steam cycle efficiency increased by 13 percent and unscheduled downtime declined from 9.2 percent to less than 5 percent. As a result, calendar year 2011 waste throughput and MWh output were the highest in 10 years.

Chowchilla Biomass

Chowchilla Biomass

Chowchilla, California

  • Deltaway Services: Operations and Maintenance
  • Plant Capacity: 12.5 megawatts
  • Technology: Fluidized-bed biomass
  • Client: Akeida Capital Management Group
  • Second quarter 2013 to third quarter 2015

In early 2013, Akeida Capital Management Group awarded Deltaway Operation Services, LLC a contract to provide management and operations for two 12.5-megawatt biomass plants in Central California, one in Merced, the other in nearby Chowchilla.

The plants, which Akeida acquired in 2011, were built in the 1980s to a similar design, to be fueled by a mix of agricultural and urban construction waste. Prior to the acquisition, both plants had suffered from years of deferred maintenance and declining performance. Modifications by previous operations contractors had introduced substantial differences between the plants, sacrificing opportunities for maintenance synergy.

In selecting Deltaway, Akeida found an experienced partner with the performance improvement tools and knowledge of best practices to optimize the plant and reduce its operating costs. Deltaway reviewed plant performance audits and prepared for outages to perform a complete inspection and plant testing. Meanwhile, a full-time Deltaway plant manager revitalized the plant's project team.

As the makeover progressed under the oversight of its technical team, Deltaway’s contributions were measured by sustainable improvements in availability, steam cycle efficiency, and safety and environmental performance, and rewarded through a pay-for-performance model.

Huadu WTE

Huadu WTE

Guangzhou, China

  • Deltaway Services: Conceptual design
  • Rated Plant Capacity: 1,500 tpd
  • Technology: Volund mass burn technology
  • Owner: Grantop
  • Fourth quarter 2010 to third quarter 2012

Since December 2010, Deltaway has been providing conceptual design services for a proposed 1,500 ton-per-day, 28-megawatt waste-to-energy plant under consideration for a site in southern China’s largest city—one of that country’s largest producers of municipal waste. Deltaway has been assisting in a year-round waste characterization study and performance analysis for the client.

With completion of Deltaway’s conceptual design services in mid- 2012, the client expects to start construction of the plant in 2012. For projects of this type, Deltaway will normally proceed from conceptual design into preliminary engineering, design, and construction—working with local Chinese engineers in this case—and eventually into an operations and maintenance contract for the finished plant.

Ren-Wu WTE

Ren-Wu WTE

Kaohsiung City, Taiwan

  • Deltaway Services: Facility management, engineering
  • Rated Plant Capacity: 1,350 tpd
  • Technology: Martin reverse reciprocating grate system
  • Operator: Sita Waste Services
  • Second quarter 2004 to fourth quarter 2011

In late 2004, Sita Waste Services, long-term operators of the RenWu waste-to-energy plant in Taiwan, were growing increasingly concerned about rising operating costs and declining performance at their 1,350-ton-per-day plant, which was not yet five years old. As part of an introductory meeting, Deltaway offered to analyze the facility’s shortfalls and return with a proposal to fix the lapsing performance.

Within a few weeks, Deltaway was back to propose a number of technical upgrades. Among the upgrades the owner chose to implement over the next few months: enhancements to the O2 combustion control and infrared furnace temperature measurement systems; and modification of the plant’s induced draft fan, filter baghouse controls, and superheater installations. These initial upgrades were so effective that Sita Waste Services CEO asked Deltaway’s lead manager on the project to become director of operations at the plant under a profit-sharing facility management contract.

The contract opened the door for Deltaway to restructure and retrain many of the plant’s operations employees and implement new operation and maintenance procedures.Deltaway significantly reduced RenWu’s maintenance costs and downtime while increasing its annual throughput by more than 45,000 tons. The facility has been praised by the Taiwan EPA as the best performing plant in Taiwan.