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Landfill Gas To Be Used For Hospital Heating

Media Release: for immediate distribution
Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Landfill gas to be used for hospital heating

Nelson Hospital will soon be heated by gas from a city landfill under a new partnership between Nelson City Council, Nelson Marlborough District Health Board and specialist energy solutions company, Meridian Solutions.

Meridian Solutions General Manager Mike Suggate says the company has secured the rights to purchase raw landfill gas from the council's York Valley landfill, which is currently being flared off at the landfill.

Instead, the gas will be used to generate a significant portion of the steam needed for hospital heating and to supply the adjacent Taylor's laundry. Meridian Solutions will install a new landfill gas-fired boiler at the hospital under a separate agreement with the District Health Board to generate steam that would otherwise be generated by coal.

As part of the project, Meridian Solutions will build a landfill gas compression and pre-treatment plant at the landfill, as well as a 2 km pipeline to carry the gas to the hospital.

"The result will be great for the environment; recovery of a wasted energy resource, a substantial reduction in the use of coal at the hospital, reduced green house gas emissions and an improvement to Nelson's air quality."

Mr Suggate says an evaluation of the potential uses of the landfill gas, which is classified as a renewable energy source under the Kyoto Protocol, identified the generation of steam at Nelson Hospital as the best utilisation option.

"However, the project requires capital to fund the development and involves both technical and commercial risks that neither NCC nor NMDHB were willing to take on. As a consequence Meridian Solutions was invited to participate and following a feasibility study, offered to partner with NCC and NMDHB to develop the project."

Detailed planning for the project is scheduled to start in June and it is expected that the gas plant will be commissioned later this year.


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