City incinerator cuts transport emissions

One of Europe's most picturesque and well-visited capital cities would not at first glance seem like the obvious place to build an incinerator.

But that is exactly what French waste firm Groupe TIRU has done with its new energy from waste plant, Isséane, which is located on the bank of the Seine in the Paris suburb of Issy-les-Moulineaux, next to the fifteenth arrondissement.

The plant, which is surrounded by major companies such as Yves Rocher and TV station TF1, has been built largely underground in a bid to minimise its visual impact, and will be covered with a living roof and living walls.

Groupe TIRU said the decision to build in Paris will allow them to cut emissions from transporting waste from households.

Its location next to the Seine also means the recyclable bottom ash that remains after incineration can be transported for reuse by boat, avoiding more than 4,000 lorry journeys each year.

However, building six storeys underground next to a river meant the plant required a coffer dam containing more than 95,000 cubic metres of concrete.

Groupe TIRU said the extensive use of this less-than-green building material had to be balanced against the emissions that would be saved in transportation over the expected 40-year life of the plant.

Barthélémy Fourment, UK deputy sales manager, told edie: “The main CO2 emissions are from transportation. If you want to reduce transportation you have to be very close to the centre.”

He added: “We have a very well integrated and discreet facility. From the outside view we have something that looks like an office building, or we have tried to get as close as possible to an office building, to be well integrated with the surrounding area which is mostly offices.”

When the plant is fully commissioned, it will incinerate up to 460,000 tonnes of waste a year from more than 1m residents in the west of Paris and several surrounding towns, as well as handling up to 55,000 tonnes of recyclables.

The energy it generates powers Isséane itself, the Metropolitan underground system, and famous attractions such as the Musée d’Orsay, as well as heating 79,000 homes.

Kate Martin

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