Koshe is the only large open landfill in Addis Ababa that has served the city for about 50 years. Earlier in 2017, the site made headlines as 114 people (residents and scavengers) were killed due to a landslide at the premises.
Waste-to-Energy Plant in Addis Ababa Incinerates 80% of the City’s Rubbish
Following the incident, Ethiopian government planned a relocation for people living in the area which is said to be the size of thirty-six football pitches. The purpose of relocating the residents is to transform the site by running a waste-to-energy plant so that Addis Ababa can deal with waste more effectively.
According to reports, Reppie waste-to-energy facility will revolutionize the way the entire city deals with waste. The plant, which is said to have begun operating in January, will take care of 80% of the city’s waste; that would be an incineration of about 1,400 tons of waste every day. As a result, it will fulfill up to 30% of Addis’ household electricity needs and will also meet European standards on air emissions.
Zerubbabel Getachew, the deputy permanent representative of Ethiopia, said to the United Nations in Nairobi that the Reppie project is a part of a broader strategy of Ethiopia to deal with pollution and generate sustainable energy across all sectors of the economy. Getachew further said that the Government of Ethiopia is hopeful that this project will serve as a model for other regions in the country as well as many others around the world.
Africa’s Largest Waste-to-Energy Plant in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
The working principle
In energy-from-waste plants, waste is incinerated in a combustion chamber which produces heat that boils the water until it turns to steam. That steam is then used to fuel a turbine generator that generates electricity. These facilities are ideal in cities where land is in short supply. They reduce the release of methane into the atmosphere, prevent the release of toxic chemicals into the groundwater, save precious space, and generate electricity.
These plants are quite popular in Europe as they incinerate up to one quarter of all municipal solid waste. Italy has 40 plants, Germany has 121, and France has 126.
Similar to its European counterparts, Reppie operates according to the standards of European Union and works within its strict emission limits. The plant utilizes state-of-the-art back-end flue technology for gas treatment in order to considerably reduce the release of dioxins and heavy metals produced from the incineration.
The Reppie project is the first of its kind in Africa which is made possible with the partnership between the Government of Ethiopia and an association of several international companies including Ramboll – an engineering firm in Denmark, China National Electric Engineering, and Cambridge Industries Limited (Singapore). The consortium was established specifically to plan, design, construct and own waste-to-energy facilities custom-built for Sub-Saharan Africa. According to the consortium, Reppie is the first of a series of these facilities in key cities across the entire region.