Azerbaijan, Baku, July 29 / Trend , I.Khalilova/
French CNIM S.A Managing Director on International Projects, André Berthe spoke with Trend in an exclusive interview.
Trend : At what stage is the construction of the incineration plant for solid household wastes in Baku?
André Berthe: The construction meets the schedule set forth in the contract. Geological and topographical studies finished in the area authorized to construct the plant, the land work is under completion to construct the household waste incineration plant with a capacity of 500,000 tons, and other preparatory activities are also going to finish.
A temporary office has been installed in the area of the plant and the necessary labor force, particularly Azerbaijani citizens, has been drawn. Under the terms of the agreement, majority of workers will be the Azerbaijani citizens both during construction and operating the plant.
Q: One of the important issues in the construction and operation of the plant will be its impact on the environment, compliance with European environmental standards. How will these issues be resolved?
A: A special attention is paid to the environmental protection during design, construction, and operation of the plant. The plant will meet the highest domestic and European environmental standards. Regulations and directives of the European Union in this field are recognized worldwide as the most severe.
In accordance with the terms of the contract, after construction the plant, our company will conduct its operation next 20 years. During this period, we intend to provide training for local personnel, and they will be involved in training one year prior to the completion of the plant's construction, scheduled for 2012. Our company intends to ensure the effective operation of the plant, both economic and environmental points of view.
Q: How is the problem with household waste in Europe solved and what the experience of your company has in this field?
A: CNIM was contracted to build and operate more than 100 similar plants for the incineration of household waste and to produce electricity by burning all over the world. In European countries, mainly the method of processing is considered to be the best at recycling household waste. Over 40 years experience, CNIM installed more than 220 lines of incinerators, as every plant has an average of two lines. Two lines will be installed at the plant to be built in the Balakhani village. It must become part of a global management plan for household waste, which in turn should provide the necessary methods for recycling - recycling, sorting and other methods.
I would note that the factory does not allow the burning of all types of waste. In this regard, one or more sorter of household waste will be installed in Absheron. And only after sorting, the household waste will be delivered to the plant, which will be an important step in the development of recycling in Azerbaijan. The Azerbaijani government will conduct the necessary work to set up sorter points.
Q: How do you assess the possibility of changing the cost of the project?
A: The cost of the project in a contract is defined at € 346 million, and all work is carried out under this budget. And we do not expect increase in costs.
Q: Regarding CNIM's 40-year experience in this field, which strategy of the household waste management is waste acceptable for Azerbaijan and how is it possible to manage household waste in Absheron via one incineration plant?
A: It is very important for each state and government to develop and adopt a global plan for household waste. Construction of incineration plants for solid waste is part of the solution to this problem, as well as recycling, household waste sorting. It is necessary to regard some factors with this purpose, including locating such facilities, established by an appropriate system to collect household waste. Regarding the experience of Germany, France and the Scandinavian countries, we can say that the incineration plant can recycle up to 40 percent of total household waste. In addition, conformity of the waste storage polygons (which is still one of the types of waste management in Europe) with the standards will reduce methane gas emissions into the environment to a minimum which is caused by decay and decomposition of wastes.
We as a company involved in both construction and future operation of the plant, are working closely with the JSC "Təmiz Şəhər" ("Clean City"), which is engaged in creating a common system of recycling of solid household wastes in Baku and Absheron.
Under the contract, the plant is designed to increase the number of lines on burning up to three in the case of necessity. Regarding that the plant will cover a significant portion of household wastes in Baku and Absheron, criterion, such as economic growth will affect increasing the volume of household waste. In a country like Azerbaijan, which has accelerated the development of the economy, the volume of household waste is growing every year, which far exceeds the growth rate in comparison with France, where last year the growth rate of household waste accounted for two percent
Q: How do you assess the cooperation with relevant government agencies in Azerbaijan under this project?
A: CNIM in cooperation with governmental agencies did not face any problems. Contract on construction and operation of the plant was signed with the Economic Development Ministry late last year. Our company intends to undertake all preparatory work to begin construction within a specified time period, while Azerbaijan, in turn, provides funding in time. In general, all works are carried out according to the schedule. JSC 'Təmiz Şəhər" also actively supports implementation of the project.