CICLO Will Build an Innovative Refuse-Derived Fuel Plant
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CICLO Will Build an Innovative Refuse-Derived Fuel Plant

Photo by:   Mrdidg - Pixabay
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Eliza Galeana By Eliza Galeana | Junior Journalist & Industry Analyst - Mon, 01/30/2023 - 12:04

The Yucatan-based company CICLO, in alliance with Spontem and Germany’s Alengo, announced the construction of a refuse-derived fuel (RDF) production plant in Merida. The plant, called Pellets CDR, will be the first of its class in Latin America.

Pellets CDR is expected to begin operations in 1Q24. The project’s goal is to transform waste into pellets that will be then used as biofuel to generate electricity. The investment for the plant stands at MX$3 billion (US$159.65 million).

According to CICLO, the plant will be able to transform 500,000t of solid waste into more than 500,000t of pellets a year. RDF is used as a substitute for fossil fuels in thermoelectric plants, rotary cement kilns or steam generators to produce electrical and thermal energy. This technology reduces the carbon footprint of power production and lowers energy costs. It is mostly used in the European market, particularly in Germany, the Netherlands and Sweden

José A. Loret, CEO, CICLO, stressed that Pellets CDR represents a breakthrough for Latin America’s environmental and energy sectors as well as highlights the importance of the circular economy model by adding value to waste. Additionally, the project will open the possibility for an export chain from Yucatan to Europe. 

Merida’s metropolitan area has over 1.3 million inhabitants whose domestic waste ends up in a sanitary landfill. This waste occupies 40ha of land and it is responsible for the emission of greenhouse gases (GHG) equivalent to those generated by 90,000 cars, which represents 10% of the state’s vehicle fleet. Recently, the Government of Yucatan implemented the Solid Waste Management System of Merida’s Metropolitan Area, which seeks to ensure better management of 62% of solid waste produced in the state and as a result reduce the emission of 42,158t/year of CO2. 

The International Energy Agency said RDFs are a viable and efficient alternative to fossil fuels and coal. According to the agency, overall demand for RDFs will increase from 17 million to 63 million t/year in the following decades.

Photo by:   Mrdidg - Pixabay

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