Energy from waste — opening of the CWDP in Białystok

News date: February 9, 2016
Energy from waste — opening of the CWDP in Białystok

On the 9th of February an official opening of the Communal Waste Disposal Plaint in Białystok took place. The plant will generate electric power and heat by incinerating waste. The system is environmentally friendly and will improve the environment of Białystok. It is an element of a modern waste management system currently under development, which also includes an implementation of a selective waste collection and a construction of a waste sorting plant on the Hryniewicze landfill. The construction of the CWDP is the largest investment in the Podlaskie province in the last few years.
Białystok is one of the first cities in Poland where the municipal authorities have seriously approached the issue of adapting the waste management to European regulations. The EU policy assumes the maximum reduction of the amount of traditionally stored waste.


The Lech company implements the project on the behalf of the City of Białystok

In 2010 the Białystok Commune has entrusted the “Lech” municipal company with the implementation of the “Integrated waste management system for the Białystok agglomeration” project with its most important task being the communal waste thermal processing system. The company will also manage the newly created facility.
The construction was performed by a consortium of: Budimex S.A. (consortium leader), Keppel Seghers Belgium N.V. and Cespa Compania Espanola de Servicios Publicos Auxiliares S.A. The contract provided for the design of the system and for its construction, which lasted a total of 751 days, with a total number of personnel amounting to 2,000. During the most intense construction works the construction site was visited daily by 457 workers.
On 31 December 2015, the facility was handed over by the contractor to the “LECH” company, in accordance with the contract: “Construction of the CWDP in Białystok in a short time and meeting all the guaranteed parameters confirm the responsible and efficient approach of Budimex company to the performance of investments in the power sector,” stated Piotr Świecki, the Power and Industrial Construction Manager at Budimex. “This project allowed us to broaden our skills. The Budimex’s long-term goal is obtaining a strong position as an EPC (Engineering, Procurement and Construction) company in a widely understood power engineering sector.”


European Union financing for the project


The total net cost of the “Integrated waste management system for the Białystok agglomeration” was PLN 393 million, of which the construction of the CWDP in Białystok accounted for PLN 333 million. The “Lech” company obtained PLN 210 million for the implementation of the entire project from the European Cohesion Fund as a part of Measure 2.1 Comprehensive undertakings in the scope of managing municipal waste with particular attention to hazardous waste of the Operational Programme Infrastructure and Environment. PLN 164 million comes from a grant of a National Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management.


Electric power and heat from waste


The CWDP is able to process 15.5 tonnes of waste per hour, up to 372 tonnes per day. Annually it may incinerate up to 120 thousand tonnes of communal waste. The used technology enables annual generation of approx. 38,000 MWh of electric power and approx. 360,000 GJ of heat which will be sent to the municipal heating network as well as being used to meet the own needs of the plant. That amount of electricity can supply power to some 16,000 households, and thermal energy can provide heat in winter to around 875 detached houses. CWDP is to receive mixed communal waste from Białystok and nine adjacent communes, as well as waste sorting process remains with a calorific value exceeding 6 MJ/kg, which may not be stored in accordance with the Regulation of the Minister for Economy. The first transports of waste have arrived to the facility at the end of September, when the contractor has commenced the hot commissioning of the system.


Highest level of environmental protection


“Environmental protection is a priority in the design and operation of the CWDP in Białystok. The facility is equipped with a flue gas treatment system, which captures and neutralises pollution and toxic compounds,” stated Michał Stefanowicz, President of the Board of PUHP “LECH” in Białystok, which is the investor and manager of CWDP. “The system removes nitrous oxides (NOx), acidic pollution, heavy metals, dioxins and furans and dust from the flue gas. As a result the flue gas emissions are minimised, far from the allowable values provided in the Regulation of the Minister for Environment on emission standards from systems.”
The flue gases are continuously monitored by services of the Lech company and by environmental protection inspection. The Białystok CWDP also used state of the art solutions, which prevents unpleasant odours from leaving the waste unloading room — underpressure keeps them inside the building, which prevents them from being a nuisance for the neighbouring area.
“Construction of the CWDP and the creation of a state of the art waste management company is not only advantageous to the current inhabitants of Białystok and Białystok agglomeration, but also indicates a care for future generations, which will enjoy clean environment,” added Michał Stefanowicz, President of the Board of PUHP “LECH” company.

First waste incinerators in Poland


The CWDP in Białystok is one of the first operational incinerators in Poland and was the first to receive an operational permit. Similar systems were started in Bydgoszcz and Konin. This year, new systems are to be finished in Poznań, Kraków and Szczecin. Approximately 400 waste incinerators are operational in Western Europe.

Communal Waste Disposal Plant in numbers


  • 120,000 tonnes — the amount of communal waste which may be incinerated annually by the CWDP in Białystok
  • 360,000 GJ — heat energy which may be generated annually by the CWDP
  • 38,000 MWh – electricity which may be generated annually by the CWDP
  • 3.3 hectares — area occupied by the plant
  • 43 metres — height of the building occupied by the boiler
  • 50 metres — chimney height
  • 37 metres — boiler height


Modern pro-environmental solutions


  • WATER RECOVERY — the rainwater from the entire CWDP area (roofs, roads, yards) is recovered and used for process purposes — the municipal water usage is minimised, mainly for household purposes.
  • HEAT RECOVERY — hot water for household purposes is heated with the heat recovered from the facility’s air compressors.
  • DETECTION OF RADIOACTIVE WASTE — there’s a radioactivity detector installed at the CWDP entrance, so there’s no danger of radioactive materials getting into the system.
  • TRUCKS LEAVE CLEAN — the waste transport trucks leave the CWDP area cleaner than they have entered, as they pass through a pressure washer which cleans their chassis and wheels before leaving.
  • CLEAN FLUE GAS — the facility is equipped with a flue gas treatment system, which captures and neutralises pollution and toxic compounds. This ensures that emission values are much lower than the allowable values, as verified by a continuous flue gas monitoring system.


The route of waste to be treated in the CWDP

  1. Waste trucks are registered and weighed at the CWDP entrance gates.
  2. In the hall inside the building that the cars enter the waste is unloaded and reach the bunker. The underpressure in the hall keeps unpleasant odours from leaving the building.
  3. The waste from the bunker is fed to the boiler’s feed funnel using a gantry crane.
  4. Through a feed chute and dosing device the waste reaches the boiler’s grate, where it is incinerated in a temperature of approx. 1,000 degrees Celsius.
  5. The flue gas created during incineration is sent to a flue gas treatment system:

- after the treatment the flue gas is directed to the chimney
- the flue gas emission levels are continuously monitored; their values are minimised, far from the allowable values established by regulations.