June 21, 2021

Técnicas Reunidas wins two contracts in Switzerland for the use of proprietary technologies in circular economy projects.

  • It has been selected by the company SwissZinc and the ZAR Foundation to develop the preliminary engineering for two industrial plants that will be dedicated to the treatment of solid urban waste.
  • One of them will be focused on the recovery of zinc and lead from incinerated solid waste and the other on the recovery of phosphorus through the treatment of sewage sludge ash.
  • In both cases, Técnicas Reunidas will apply its own patented technologies.

Técnicas Reunidas has been selected by two Swiss entities to use technologies developed and patented by the Spanish company, in the preliminary engineering of two industrial plants that will be dedicated to the treatment of solid urban waste and sewage sludge.

One of them, promoted by the company SwissZinc, owned by the Swiss Association of Waste Managers (VBSA), will apply two Técnicas Reunidas technologies (ZINCEXTM and ECOLEADTM) for the recovery of zinc, copper-cadmium cement and lead by treating the ashes of incinerated solid waste.

These processes will be carried out in a plant to be installed in the industrial complex that the company KEBAG, one of the seven member companies of the Association, owns in the town of Zuchwill, and will have a treatment capacity of 40,000 tons of ash per year. It is scheduled for commissioning by 2025.

The Swiss Waste Management Association (VBSA) is considered to be the leading waste management organization in this Central European country. It groups the operating companies of the Swiss plants that carry out these activities and has considerable influence on the country’s waste management policy.

The other plant, promoted by ZAR, a foundation created in 2010 to encourage the sustainable use of waste and resources, will use the PHOS4LIFETM technology of Técnicas Reunidas to recover phosphorus by treating the ash from sewage sludge.

This plant will also be installed in KEBAG’s industrial complex and will also have a treatment capacity of 40,000 tons of sewage sludge ash per year. It is scheduled to be commissioned in 2026.

ZAR is a Center for the Sustainable Use of Waste and Resources that defines itself as an “ambassador of the sustainable circular economy” whose main focus is the recycling of materials from thermal waste treatment.

In both cases, Técnicas Reunidas has been selected after it has successfully completed three previous phases: concept testing of the technologies, feasibility tests at laboratory scale and demonstration in a pilot plant. The preliminary engineering phase that the Spanish company is now facing will give way, if successfully completed, to the license sale, technology supply and basic engineering phases, which will be carried out over the course of a year before construction of the two industrial plants begins.

Javier Limpo Orozco, Director of Técnicas Reunidas’ Proprietary Technologies Development Division, pointed out that “these two projects are part of the wide range of activities that the company has been carrying out over the last few years in the area of circular economy as part of its energy transition strategy and prove its ability to compete with proprietary technologies in leading countries in this field”.

Currently, the management of the growing generation of Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) and initiatives to prevent it from ending up in landfills are being addressed in Europe through two lines of action that are not mutually exclusive: some countries, such as Spain, are preferably opting for recycling to give a second life to this waste, while others, such as Scandinavian countries and Switzerland itself, mostly apply the alternative of incineration.

Therefore, the fact that Técnicas Reunidas has obtained the selection of its technologies in one of the most active countries in this field is particularly significant. In particular, it should be noted that Switzerland is a pioneer at European level in the recovery of phosphorus from sewage sludge, which is precisely the objective of the project that the Spanish company is developing for ZAR.

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