RDF exports continue year-on-year growth in 2023

Exports of refuse derived fuel (RDF) from England have risen by 9.5% in the first nine months of the the calendar year, compared with 2022. 

Exports of RDF rose by around 6% between 2022 and 2023

Provisional data published by the Environment Agency yesterday (20 November) showed that 1,158,891 tonnes of RDF were exported from England in January- September 2023, compared with 1,058,711 during the same period in 2022.

The figures shows that the spike in RDF exports in England this year is continuing. The last dataset published by the Agency in August, covering the first half of the year, showed that RDF exports were up 7% year-on-year (see letsrecycle.com story).

The rise in export this year reverses a period of declines in recent years as more domestic capacity ramps up. In 2022, exports fell by 10% overall (see letsrecycle.com story). The same dataset in 2021 showed a 25% drop from 2020 (see letsrecycle.com story).


The rise this year is thought to be down to a number of reasons.

One is that there is a need in Europe to reduce reliance on Russian gas, so demand for RDF to power energy plants has risen a lot this year and will continue to do so over the winter.

There has also been reduced waste volumes on the continent, meaning demand for waste had increased.


There is often a contrast between the data published, which only covers England, and what companies exporting RDF say.

While the data pointed to an overall decline over the last few years, there were question marks over the future of the industry as domestic EfW capacity ramps up.

However, RDF companies highlight that the data only covers England and say there is significant tonnage in the market which still needs a destination.

Andusia announced earlier this month that it i set for a “record” 2023, exporting more than 300,000 tonnes.

Geminor also said in August that the UK was now its biggest market, which has shown the largest growth in tonnes in 2023. Geminor UK increased the total volume by 63% in this time to just over 380,000 tonnes.

RDF Conference

The data and other trends in the RDF market will be discussed this Thursday (23 November) at the RDF Conference.

Now in its tenth year, the RDF Conference has established itself as one of the key must-attend conferences for all those operating in the RDF, SRF and Energy from Waste sectors. 

With a programme shaped by the industry, this event is designed to provide you with key guidance and discussions honing in on the most pertinent issues. 

You can secure one of the last remaining tickets here.

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