A reduction in waste volumes in Europe, in addition to ongoing transport challenges, makes it harder to predict the access to secondary fuels this coming winter season. The market is encouraging industry players to increase stocks of RDF and SRF, says Geminor CEO.
A turbulent economy and an ongoing conflict in Ukraine are leading to a drop in commercial and household waste across Europe. At the same time, reduced transport capacity all over the continent is extending the challenges for the WtE and waste industry. Seasonal variations, which normally lead to a reduction in waste volumes during winter, are therefore a growing concern as we approach the 2023 season.
Challenges will most likely continue for off-takers in the WtE sector, explains Country Manager for Geminor in Sweden, Per Mernelius. He emphasises the importance of having access to stocked volumes in the winter months.
“Many industry players have noticed the unusual market situation for secondary fuels and are aware of the coming logistics challenges which most likely will continue into the coming winter. Many see the need for more predictable deliveries, as well as a buffer of baled RDF,” says Mernelius.
“We are doing all we can to stem a potential lack of secondary fuels this coming season. Our goal now is therefore to grind and bale as much waste as possible where this is possible during the summer. In our HUB in Landskrona, Sweden, we want to store as many as 10,000 tonnes of ballet RDF from Italy, Germany, and the United Kingdom. In Oxeløsund, we will store around 6,000 tonnes of SRF from the UK,” Mernelius continues.
“We will do what we can to utilise the existing transport capacity and secure surplus waste this summer,” Mernelius says.
Denmark follows suit
In Denmark there is also an increased interest in long-term planning and storage, explains Country Manager for Geminor DK, Kasper Thomsen.
“Our off-takers in Odense and Esbjerg have chosen to take in 7,000 and 5,000 tonnes respectively over the summer to build up a stock for the coming winter. This is a direct consequence of the lack of waste that the industry experienced in Denmark last winter,” says Thomsen.
“At the same time, we will increase our own stock with RDF in the HUB in Aalborg, primarily by around 5,000 tonnes from Italy,” Thomsen adds.
The CEO at Geminor, Kjetil Vikingstad, expects waste players across Europe to increase the storage of secondary fuels and other fractions.
“For some time, we have had a waste market based on ‘last-minute’ delivery, but during the last 2 years, downstream players have noticed that waste volumes are not as easy to get hold of in the winter season. The seasonal variations in volumes are getting more noticeable, also because of the reduction in waste exports from the UK,” Vikingstad says.
“The waste industry is better served with a stable and predictable supply of secondary fuels, which also provides more stable market prices. It is easier to achieve this by increasing storage capacity for the winter months,” concludes the CEO at Geminor, Kjetil Vikingstad.