September 2015

Integrated system of solid waste treatment facilities of Sofia Municipality

On September 14th 2015 the inauguration of the project: “Integrated system of solid waste treatment facilities of Sofia Municipality - Design and Construction of a Mechanical – Biological Treatment (MBT) Plant for processing waste and production of Refuse Derived Fuel in Sofia Municipality, took place in Sofia, Bulgaria.

The Consortium AKTOR S.A. – HELECTOR S.A. has entered into the contract of the project on December 21st 2013 with Sofia Municipality. The contract price of the Project (including contingencies) amounted to approximately € 91, 000, 000. The Project was completed within 21 months (which is considered an achievement given the size of the Project) in compliance with the construction program/ time schedule.

The financing of the Project was a mix of European Union funds (70%) and the European Investment Bank (30%); whereas the financing needs of the Consortium (working capital and guarantees’ issuance) were covered by Alpha Bank.

The processing capacity of the MBT Facility amounts to 410.000 tons per annum of mixed Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) and constitutes one of the largest waste treatment facilities worldwide. The Project fully covers the waste management needs of Sofia Municipality with a population of about 1.2 million.

Project Description

The MBT plant is constructed on a site of 106.204 m2 and the total built up area of the buildings reaches 29.700m2.

The treatment process incorporates state of the art technologies making the MBT plant one of the most modern MSW facilities in Europe.

MSW are received and treated through process lines which are fully automated and optimized according to the special characteristics of the input waste and are designed for residue minimization and product maximization.

The products are recyclable materials, high quality Refused Derived Fuel (RDF) and non-standard compost (CLO) while residue is material suitable for sanitary landfilling.

The MBT process consists of the following main steps:

  • Reception and mechanical pre-sorting: Reception and feeder, separation of hazardous, large sized materials and recyclable products suitable either for disposal or recycling
  • Biological treatment: Accelerated biological stabilization bioreactors  for the production of dry material (end up as high quality SRF) applying patented applications for biological drying and CLO (compost like output) stabilization
  • Mechanical post- treatment: for the recovery of recyclable materials and for the production of high quality SRF

Environmental benefits

As regards the reduction of the environmental impact, which is dictated by the European Union directives, regulations and decisions the construction and operation of the MBT Facilities is in full compliance with European legislation regarding waste management.

It needs to be noted that the technical solution applied achieves a) minimization of the residues that needs to be diverted to landfill, b) production of useful by-products c) avoidance of hazardous residuals, d) minimization of CO2 emissions, e) positive carbon footprint.

Social benefits

More than 300 employees (almost 120 Greeks and 180 Foreigners) were involved in the construction of the Project. Moreover, during operations, approximately 120 employees are expected to be employed directly, while more than 60 indirect employment positions are expected to be created.

Finally it is expected that the Project will provide the City and the citizens of Sofia with increased social benefits while it will be used as landmark, being state of the art, for future waste projects both in Bulgaria as well as (and not only) in the European Union.