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New landfill-gas generation project for Wellington


New landfill-gas generation project for Wellington

In a new energy project announced today, greenhouse gas from Wellington's Southern Landfill is set to be harnessed for electricity production.

Todd Energy's managing director, Richard Tweedie, advised the project was designed to utilise methane gas produced at the Wellington City Council landfill to fuel an onsite thermal generation plant.

Mr Tweedie advised the site preparation was well advanced and a 1MW gas-fired generator would be delivered on Thursday 7 February. The plant is scheduled to be fully operational and delivering electricity into the local network by the end of March.

"This landfill has been in use for over 30 years and is now producing a large amount of landfill gas every year - including methane," said Mr Tweedie. "Methane is a significant greenhouse pollutant and harnessing it to produce electricity makes good sense from both an economic and environmental viewpoint."

He said to design a viable, long term solution to the problem of managing greenhouse gas produced at the landfill, the project had involved the generation expertise of Todd Energy subsidiary Bay of Plenty Energy teamed up with the specialist gas knowledge of Nova Gas, the company's Wellington-based gas retailer and pipeline operator.

The plant is expected to generate around 8 GWh of electricity per year for the next 20 years - enough to power 1,000 households.

"The generation plant has been selected for its high efficiency and its capacity to maximise the electricity produced from the available gas", said Mr Tweedie. "Depending on future waste volumes received and the content of the waste there may be sufficient gas to enable the installation of additional generation units in years to come."

Mr Tweedie believed the idea of utilising greenhouse gases to produce electricity would appeal to the more environmentally aware consumers who were concerned about the impact their household was having on the natural environment. He advised that Nova Gas was planning to offer electricity and gas to Wellington residential customers from March 2008.

Mr Tweedie said the team was already looking at options to increase the electricity output through refinements to the gas recovery systems and was also investigating ways to increase the overall efficiency of the plant by utilising the waste heat produced as part of the generation process.

Mr Tweedie complimented the positive input of the Wellington City Council and the supporting role it had played in helping to make the project a reality.

"As the owner of the Southern Landfill, the Wellington City Council has proven itself to be an excellent partner in this project and I look forward to working with the team on further projects where the commercial, environmental and regional objectives are so well aligned."

ENDS


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