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Asia leads growth in waste-to-energy market

The waste-to-energy (WtE) market continues its strong global growth, with Asian leading the charge.

In its “Waste to Energy 2016/17” report, Germany-based consultancy firm ecoprog said that worldwide treatment capacity reached more than 300 million annual tonnes, with close to 2,150 plants operating in late 2015.

An average of 15 million annual tonnes of added incineration capacity will be installed in 2016, putting the WtE market at an all-time high.

Some 128 new waste incineration plants will be commissioned worldwide between 2015 and 2016 mostly in Asia, translating into 12 to 13 million annual tonnes of capacity for the region, an increase from 4 million in 2007.

More than 150 incineration plants were built in China alone between 2011 and 2015, with an installed capacity of over 50 million annual tonnes.

With more planned WtE projects in other emerging Asian nations such as Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines, the region is seen as likely to dominate the WtE market in succeeding years.

The report also cites a small revival in the European market, despite a relatively slow rate of 2 to 3 million annual tonnes commissioned since 2012, compared to over 4 million between 2008 and 2010.

The number of WtE projects in Britain remains large, with increased project planning in Southern and Eastern Europe. Italy is currently planning 8 new plants, France is expecting more incineration projects and Poland is preparing more WtE facilities to receive funding from the EU.

Waste policies continue to be the most important factor in the European WtE market, while Asia is driven by increasing amounts of waste, shortages of land and a desire for independence in the energy sector.

The report adds that more than 600 new waste incineration plants with a capacity of over 170 million annual tonnes are expected within the next 10 years.

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