13 November 2019 by Joshua Doherty

AEB works completed ‘ahead of schedule’

All six combustion lines at Amsterdam’s AEB energy from waste plant are now back online, and the facility’s operators have said it will “gradually” reach contracted volumes again soon.

The facility, which was commissioned in 1993, is one of the largest in the Netherlands, and is a major off-taker of residual waste, in the form of refuse derived fuel (RDF), from the UK.

AEB Amsterdam processes more than 1 million tonnes of waste, with roughly 25% coming from the UK

Around 20% of the plant’s capacity – roughly 250,000 tonnes – was fulfilled by imports of material from the UK in 2018.

As reported by letsrecycle.com in July this year, four of the six combustion lines were temporarily taken out of service to improve safety at the plant (see letsrecycle.com story).

It was thought this would put the plant out of action for six months. However, the sixth line came back into action last week (7th November), meaning all lines are back and running ahead of schedule.

Commenting after the works were complete, Paul Dirix, the chief executive officer of AEB, said: “We are back to normal service sooner than we’d anticipated. This means that we and our partners will shortly be in a position to focus our full attention on sustainable waste disposal and the provision of heat, energy and raw materials”.

Stages

The company confirmed in a statement that the first line came back into operation online early in October,  and the second was completed on 28th October. The final two were completed on the 7th November and this “brought an end to the standstill of the ovens”.

AEB confirmed that all the works have undergone an external audit before coming back online.

“We will shortly be in a position to focus our full attention on sustainable waste disposal”

Paul Dirix, AEB

Now that all six combustion lines are fully operational, AEB says the collection of combustible waste will gradually reach the contracted volumes that it has agreed with customers. “We expect that we will then be able to uphold the required level of service,” AEB stated.

The company didn’t hint at any further works taking place, after it was initially thought that the other two combustion lines would undergo similar works afterwards.

Staffing

To ensure that AEB can “satisfy the demands put on a company operating in a competitive market”, it will also be “scrutinising its staffing levels”, and the staff unions are involved in this process.

“The basic premise is that work will be carried out by our own staff. The transition to the new AEB will require extra training and we will need to take a critical look at which jobs are still viable considering the size of the company,” the statement read.

In a statement, AEB added: “We have every confidence in the future of AEB”.

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