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STADLER installs first of three MRF and compost refinement plants in Greece

Organic materials travel up a line inside an MRF
Automation and efficiency stand out in the new facility because the MRF can adapt to changing material composition. STADLER

Greek renewable energy company Terna Energy has chosen STADLER as a strategic partner in public-private projects for the design and installation of materials recovery facilities (MRF) in the Epirus region and now also in the Peloponnese. STADLER has now completed the commissioning and start-up of the latest facility, an MRF and compost refinement plant in Tripoli, the capital city of the Peloponnese region, and two further projects in Sparta and Kalamata are in progress.

Automation and efficiency stand out in the new facility because the MRF can adapt to changing material composition. It produces consistently high-quality output, achieving recovery rates of above 90 percent for the organic fraction, plastic containers, bottles, and paper, and 80 percent for biofilms and PE film. It is also designed to facilitate maintenance, with easy access to all components and motors.

The sorting plant receives mixed municipal solid waste (MSW) with an input capacity of 30 to 40 tonnes per hour in a single line. It is processed to produce a high-quality output of recyclates and organic material. The recyclates – PET, HDPE, PP/PS, foils, paper, cardboard, ferrous, and non-ferrous cans and containers – are sorted into automatic bunkers and then baled. The organic material – in fractions below 60 millimetres from anaerobic digestion and 65- to 85-millimetre fractions from vessel composting – is further processed in the compost refinement plant, producing two fractions of clean compost with different specifications and material sizes.

STADLER's design team developed a plant that delivers the high-quality output required by Terna Energy, addressing the challenge presented by the peculiarities of the waste stream in the region.

"The Peloponnese is a very touristic region, and this has an effect on the composition of the waste, with high variations in seasonal consumption and diversity of packaging," explains Dimitris Blanas, head of sales Greece and Middle East at STADLER.

The process begins with two trommel screens and then a STADLER STT5000 ballistic separator that separates the rolling, flat, and screened fractions. At this stage of the process, Pellenc ST COMPACT optical sorters, integrated with STADLER's conveyors, come into play to sort waste by material and colour on the two main lines: 2D for flat objects such as mixed paper, cardboard, and film, and 3D for hollow objects such as bottles, containers, and trays. These sorters are ideal for the task with their compact size and low energy consumption as well as their capability to manage the volumes and variations in the feed.

"The high capacity of this equipment will be able to absorb the increase of waste volumes," says Steve Halpin-Gosset, regional sales director of South Europe at Pellenc ST. "Thanks to their high scalability, sorting settings can also be adapted according to input stream composition changes." 

Collaboration with the teams from Terna Energy, Pellenc ST, and suppliers was key to delivering on time. STADLER

"We had a very short time for completing the assembly and the plant was required to run at full capacity on the first day of hot commissioning, because of the high volumes of municipal waste arriving and the lack of storage facilities," explains Dimitris Blanas.

Collaboration with the teams from Terna Energy, Pellenc ST, and suppliers was key to delivering on time.

"We focused on effective coordination of all the teams, as well as careful timing of deliveries ahead of assembly to avoid wasting any time. Also, detailed checks and meticulous preparation throughout the assembly and cold commissioning phases were critical," Steve Halpin-Gosset adds. "We have been working with STADLER for many years and have built a strong partnership. The quality of our relationship and the smooth interactions between our teams have guaranteed the success of this project."

"STADLER's solid design and quality equipment, together with the effective management of the project in all its phases – from designing to delivery, construction, and commissioning. Their team was always available, fast in responding whenever an issue arose, coordinating and supporting the construction team, effectively collaborating with the other providers and suppliers on site. The fast delivery and installation were impressive."

As part of its partnership with Terna Energy, STADLER has designed two further MRFs and compost refinement plants with similar characteristics and capacity in the area of Lakonia and Messenia, also in the Peloponnese region, which are expected to start operation in the autumn of 2023. STADLER says that these three plants, together with the facility in Epirus, will be the most advanced MRF sorting plants in operation in the country.

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