In 2017, 3 million m3 of water were consumed at the Group’s plants and sites, down 6% compared to the 3.2 million of 2016.
The biggest consumers were the waste disposal plants and the cogeneration plants. In particular:
- waste disposal plants (2.6 million m3, of which in particular 2.4 million in waste-to-energy plants) decreased by 7% compared to the previous year, due in particular to the consumption of the Trieste waste-to-energy plant where water demand decreased as a result of changes to cooling tower recirculating water conditioning which determined less drain-off. The downward trend in water consumption also continued for the Ferrara (-11% compared to 2016) and Padua plants (slight in absolute terms but positive considering also a +2.7% increase in waste treated);
- the co-generation plants that in 2017 consumed 341,688 cubic metres of water, up 8.5% compared to 2016. In particular, 251,541 m3 were consumed by the Imola power plant. The year was positively affected by water savings in some cogeneration plants such as S. Biagio (BO), Ippodromo (FC), and Bufalini (FC). There was a higher consumption, compared to 2016, at Cogeneration Acer – Barca (BO) because in 2016 the plant was virtually inactive due to complete revamping. However, after a year of complete operation, its water consumption has halved, compared to 2015. Furthermore:
- some cogeneration systems increased electricity generation by 7.3%, and therefore used more water;
- for the Bologna Berti power plant, the increase in consumption is due to the greater demand for cooling energy from customers;
- some breakages affected water consumption (Ecocity BO).
Around 132,000 m3 were used in the offices.
In 25 waste treatment plants with Emas certification, water consumption is estimated at 1.5 million m3. In some plants, this water is reused within the production cycle. In 2016, reused water accounted for 22% of total water consumed. The flue gas scrubbers we have installed in our waste-to-energy plants are mainly the dry type, since they reduce water consumption compared to wet scrubbers. In the composting plants, the recirculated water is connected to the storm water tanks. In other plants, the water is reused for other processes within the same site, while in the waste-to-energy plants it is reused to the extinguish the slag and to clean the paved areas.