Invited Session: Energy Recovery

Keeping the Lights On: WtE Facility Life Extension Lessons Learned (1 CEU)

Monday, September 25, 2017
15:30 – 16:30
Room 317

Moderator: Dr. Henning Friege, Partner, N3, Germany

Successfully extending the useful life of waste to energy (WtE) facilities requires creativity, perseverance and sometimes a bit of luck. Understanding what elements are needed to keep a project going under the economic, institutional and regulatory changes these projects face is critical to helping maintain and grow the industry.

Preservation of aging infrastructure is a critical issue facing many owners and operators of waste to energy facilities today. Many customers, operators and owners of WtE facilities in the United States and Europe have had to answer very tough questions as their long-term disposal and power purchase contracts have come to an end. Municipalities are faced with end-of-term decisions including ownership, renewal of existing contracts, maintaining regional relationships, disbanding regional affiliations, changes in technology and/or entering into agreements with alternative disposal facilities. Private sector owner/operators are faced with tough investment decisions regarding if and how much to invest in life extension capital improvement projects. Required investments can run into the tens of millions of dollars/euros. The existing relationships between a municipality and the WtE facility, including ownership and contract terms, directly influence the end-of-term conversations and options.

This panel addresses the issue of life extension efforts from the public and private sector perspective. Our panelists bring real world experience in navigating the rapids during end of term transitions. A public sector representative will discuss status and lessons learned from several recent WtE projects that have reached, or are nearing, the end of their initial or renewal terms as the public and private partners address what to do and how to do it. On the private side, we will describe some of the benefits to be obtained resulting from capital investments in equipment replacement/modification as part of life extension projects. The discussions will cover an update on the factors affecting existing contracts reaching end of term, key elements to be considered by participants in identifying what their options are, the role of asset assessment and capital planning, typical terms and conditions and key ingredients of and how to put in place an effective action plan to keep the lights on.

By attending this presentation, participants will be better able to identify critical factors affecting the success of life extension efforts at existing waste management facilities. We will discuss the types of asset management initiatives needed to help ensure that owners/operators are able to extend and fully utilize the useful life potential of these capital intensive facilities. We will examine the issues that keep public sponsors and facility managers up at night as these facilities "age-out" and discuss examples of various initiatives undertaken to extend the operating lives of several projects.


Shawn Worster, Associate Vice President and Senior Professional Associate, HDSR, Florida

Shawn Worster

Shawn Worster has more than 30 years of successful implementation-oriented project development, management consulting and executive management in the integrated solid waste management sector, including serving as the executive director of the North East Solid Waste Committee for seven years, representing a regional consortium of 23 municipalities delivering their solid waste to a 1,500 TPD Wheelabrator-owned energy from waste facility. His recent activities have included assisting public sector clients address end of term transition issues and evaluate, negotiate and implement long term integrated solid waste management program options. Mr. Worster holds a Master’s degree in health services administration from the Harvard University School of Public Health, a Master’s degree in engineering management from Northeastern University and a Bachelor’s degree in engineering (mechanical with distinction) from McGill University. He is a former chair of the Materials and Energy Recovery Division of ASME and now serves as the Waste-to-Energy Technical Division representative on the SWANA International Board.

Tom Adams, Chief Business Development Officer, Lancaster County Solid Waste Management Authority

Tom Adams

Tom Adams manages all aspects of the Lancaster County Solid Waste Management Authority (LCSWMA) $85 million yearly revenue, including budgeting, contract negotiation, customer interaction, long-term capital planning, and new business initiatives. Mr. Adams has held management positions within LCSWMA since 2005 and has been in executive level management since 2011. He received a Bachelor’s degree in geo-environmental studies from Millersville University and a Masters of Business Administration from Elizabethtown College.

Didier Fontaine, President and COO, CNIM US Corp, France

Didier Fontaine

Didier Fontaine is president and CEO of CNIM U.S. Corp., a company of CNIM Group recently incorporated in the USA to provide refurbishment and upgrading services to waste to energy and biomass or associated plants. He has served as managing director of MESE (a CNIM subsidiary operating three WTE plants in the UK) from 2004 to 2010, managing director of Energonut (a CNIM subsidiary in Italy operating a 10MW Biomass power plant) from 2003 to 2006, and is president or general manager of all CNIM subsidiaries operating WTE plants in France, the UK and Azerbaidjan. Previously, he held a number of senior management positions in the environment and power Industry, in the field of project management, design, construction, commissioning and operation, mainly for GEC-ALSTHOM and CNIM in France, the UK and overseas. Mr. Fontaine graduated with a Doctor-Engineer degree from the famous "Ecole des Mines de Paris" in France in 1983.