Amager Bakke: High-efficiency energy recovery from waste

Copenhill in Copenhagen, Denmark

Copenhill in Copenhagen, Denmark


Inger Anette Søndergaard

Inger Anette Søndergaard

Head of Department
T: +45 51618683

The multi-functional Amager Bakke waste-to-energy facility in Copenhagen raises the bar for resource optimisation with an energy efficiency of 107%.

All over Europe, countries are working hard to reduce their reliance on fossil fuels in power and heat production. Meanwhile, a large share of the energy supply will be based on fossil fuels for decades to come.

As a consequence, waste-to-energy (WtE) facilities will continue to make an important contribution to fulfil the climate goals and high energy-efficiency targets. Rising from the ground in the centre of Copenhagen, the Amager Bakke WtE facility is being established by Amager Resource Centre (ARC) as an important step to meet future demands by supplying low-carbon electricity to 550,000 people and district heating to 140,000 households.

As the Owner’s Engineer, Ramboll has helped the client boost the energy output to record-high levels and reduce emissions to far below limit values. The environmental protection technology applied at the facility, including inter alia front-end selective catalytic reduction and wet flue gas treatment, will result in an extremely green profile.

From waste to electricity, heat and clean water

The combined heat and power producing plant is able to treat more than 400,000 tonnes of waste every year. Flue gas condensation and heat pumps will be established to optimise the production of heat. Consequently, Amager Bakke’s total net energy efficiency of 107% will be among the highest in the world for a waste-to-energy facility, and it holds a big potential for recycling and recovery.

- This project has included a comprehensive technology review process, allowing Ramboll to explore many technical solutions and develop a very high energy recovery profile and advanced flue gas treatment, says Head of Department Inger Anette Søndergaard.

The new facility can export energy for two different purposes: hot water for three separate district heating networks and electricity for the power grid. In addition 15-20% of the incoming waste can be reused for road construction.

Skiing in an urban setting

As a recreational bonus, the plan is to establish four integrated ski slopes that the citizens can enjoy and climbing walls from the roof, designed by Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG).  The urban potential is supported by its central location adjacent to ARC's existing facility, a new housing area and close to the Opera and the Queen's Palace, which means that Amager Bakke could become an integral part of the urban environment.

- Copenhagen’s citizens are really the ones who will benefit the most from the facility. They will get cheaper and more sustainable electricity, district heating and recycled materials for at least the next 20 years. And at the same time, they get to enjoy the view from the top in an exhilarating experience, says Inger Anette Søndergaard.

Building roads with ashes

Optimal resource management is a key topic in waste management. At Amager Bakke, the incineration process provides the opportunity for material recycling through recovery of resources that would not otherwise be recycled.

Metal segregation from bottom ash reaches more than 90% of the potential for most ferrous and non-ferrous metals when modern techniques are deployed.

Bottom ash is used for road construction and similar construction purposes under strict requirements for heavy metal content and leaching behaviour. Thereby, the bottom ash can replace natural resources of a similar nature, i.e. sand and gravel.

Five M&E contracts Planning for the €530M waste-to-energy facility started in October 2009. Ramboll has been involved since the beginning, providing project planning and definition, conceptual design, tendering, procurement, project and contract management, supervision and commissioning. Ramboll’s work includes the mechanical and electrical (M&E) equipment of the new facility, which has been procured via five M&E contracts monitored and co-ordinated by Ramboll.

The technology suppliers are Babcock & Wilcox Vølund (furnace/boiler), Siemens Danmark A/S (turbine/generator and CMS/electrical system) and LAB, France (flue gas treatment).

The new facility will be inaugurated in 2018.

About the client

Amager Ressourcecenter (ARC) is an inter-municipal resource company owned by five municipalities in the Greater Copenhagen area. The company receives and processes waste from approximately 550,000 residents and 45,000 businesses and provides recycled materials, electricity and district heating to the city.

The Amager Bakke WtE facility replaces ARC's existing waste treatment facility, which is now over 40 years old, has high maintenance costs, moderate energy efficiency and does not meet contemporary standards for occupational health and safety.

More information

Amager Ressource Center

Read more and see ARC's visualisations of Amager Bakke

An energy efficiency of more than 100% - How is it possible?

Read about how Amager Bakke can reach an energy efficiency of 107%.

Ramboll Group A/S

Ramboll Group A/S
Hannemanns Allé 53
DK-2300 Copenhagen S
Tel:+45 5161 1000
Fax:+45 5161 1001

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