RIGA - Waste has untapped potential for increasing Latvia's energy independence, Getlini Eko waste management company's CEO Imants Stirans said in an interview with LETA.
After a waste-to-energy plant is built at Getlini landfill, it could provide half of Riga with hot water, moreover, it could generate energy from the existing waste flows as well as waste already buried at the landfill.
"If Latvia has a resource that we produce ourselves - waste - then it is absolutely illogical to pile it up and make no use of it. The issue is closely related to national energy independence. Theoretically, landfilling, if done in accordance with all environmental requirements, is not a bad thing at all. A landfill is like a deposit, a resource that can be used in the economy over time," said Stirans.
He also said that the waste-to-energy plant would produce enough heat and electricity. "It would provide hot water for the whole part Riga on the right bank of the Daugava in winter and summer. Electricity would be a by-product in the amount of 15 to 20 megawatts. This, of course, is to be determined by experts," said Stirans, adding that all municipalities in Pieriga should consider this opportunity to ensure sustainability of Getlini landfill and to use waste efficiently, he added.
There are three options for implementing the project. "Either it is built by Getlini, or a private company, or this can be a public-private partnership project. It is unrealistic for Getlini to implement the project because, no matter how good and successful we are, this is huge money, over EUR 100 million, and this would be beyond our means. Therefore the project will be implemented either by a private company or in a public private partnership," said Stirans, adding that he believed a public-private partnership was the most viable option.