Romanian power plant to utilize MSW

By Erin Voegele
Nevada-based Energy Quest Inc. announced in early September that it had entered into a purchase agreement with Italian recycling machine manufacturer CoFAMM SRL for the construction and installation of a 500-ton-per-day municipal-solid-waste (MSW) gasification plant in Romania. Energy Quest will provide the proprietary technologies, equipment and project management for the 20-megawatt-per-hour facility, while CoFAMM will provide a solution to isolate recyclable materials from the MSW and provide refuse-derived fuel to the facility.

According to Marco Bucciarello, CoFAMM's general manager and chief executive officer, his company's sorting solution is able to recognize and separate recyclable materials.

CoFAMM guarantees that its technology can isolate between 70 percent and 80 percent of the recyclable material contained within MSW, including organic materials, paper, cardboard, plastics, aluminum and iron. Plastic materials can also be sorted by type and color.

CoFAMM's waste sorters can be configured in several ways, depending on the type of materials they must sort, the cost of labor and other parameters specific to each project. The process generally begins with a bag opener. The MSW is then moved through a series of stages featuring equipment that utilizes conveyors, separators, screens, currents and other technologies to isolate recyclable materials from the waste. Once recyclable materials are isolated from the MSW, the remaining combustible materials will be used to power the facility and produce electricity.

The power generation portion of the facility will consist of four modular gasification units that each generate six megawatts of electricity per hour. According to Wilf Ouellette, Energy Quest's president and chief executive officer, construction of the facility is scheduled to begin in early 2009 and expected to last approximately 12 months. The recycling portion of the project should be operational six to eight months after construction begins, which will allow the facility to begin stockpiling refuse-derived fuel and selling the recyclable material.