Third of EfW operators predict downturn in 2013

A third of energy-from-waste operators across Europe are forecasting a contraction in business activity over the next 12 months, according to new research.

A study carried out by the Confederation of European Waste-to-Energy Plants (CEWEP) found that while the majority of its members are currently reporting favourable market conditions, many are less optimistic about future growth prospects.

More than 80% of operators stated that their business situation was “good” or satisfactory” while equipment manufacturers and suppliers reported similar.

Facility operators were particularly happy due to a rise in commercial waste arisings, which has helped improved plant utilisation.

Looking ahead however, while more than 50% of operators expect business levels to remain at the same level over the next 12 months, a third have forecast a fall in activity.

Already some industrial companies are reporting a decreased backlog of orders – the delay of projects in growth markets such as Poland is especially challenging for them.

Even operators of energy-efficient plants do not expect their R1 status to result in business advantages as most of these firms are active in markets where their competitors will also achieve the same efficiency standard.

Despite the growth of energy-from-waste (EfW) facilities in China, almost half of those operating in the sector don’t yet consider it to be a significant market due to the low standards of plant being built out there.

CEWEP is the European umbrella association of EfW plant operators. The association represents 363 European plants with a treatment capacity of about 59m tonnes, which is more than 80%of the total EfW capacity across Europe.

Maxine Perella

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