Significant events for the 2018 financial year
Environment Operating Segment
At the end of the year and precisely on 1 December 2018, the company entered Bioecologia S.r.l., company acquired by Siena Ambiente S.p.A. and wholly owned by Acea Ambiente. The Company carries out its activity in the liquid waste purification, treatment and intermediation sector. The activity is carried out in the treatment plants located in the municipalities of Chiusi, Buonconvento and Colle Val d'Elsa.
As regards the single local units, it should be noted that:
- Terni (UL1): the conferment of the pulper waste has ensured the fuel requirements for the entire period and the expected performance was confirmed in terms of both the pre-treatment of waste and the production of electrical energy. Following the presentation of a new authorisation request by Acea Ambiente aimed at obtaining an expansion of the category of non-hazardous waste to be launched for energy recovery, the fifth Service Conference was held on 19 December 2017, which concluded the AIA verification phase and in fact initiated the verification phase of the Environmental Impact Assessment procedure at the pertinent offices of the Umbria Region. On 4 December 2018, an application for an EIA was presented concerning the increase of non-hazardous waste categories (CER codes) to be sent for energy recovery at the Terni waste-to-energy plant.
- Paliano (UL2): the characterisation plan was presented to the Ministry of the Environment which, with Decree no. 557 of 11/12/2017, approved the Plan for the characterisation of the entire Paliano site, included in the Site of National Interest (SIN) "Sacco River Basin". The Company has planned to implement what is specified in the aforementioned Characterisation Plan by means of functional sections, starting operations from the area where the decommissioned purifier is located.
Once the operations of characterisation of the first section have been completed and the authorisation from the Ministry of the Environment has been obtained, the aforementioned purifier will be demolished in order to guarantee a progressive redevelopment of the property.
Due to a request for clarification sent by ARPA Lazio to the Ministry of the Environment, the characterisation activities have not yet been started. On 30 January 2019 a meeting was held at the Ministry of the Environment to define the characterisation of the area in detail. With regard to the authorisation procedure for the construction of the industrial site, note that the authorisation for landscape works and the related consequent permit to build is currently in the preliminary phase.
- San Vittore del Lazio (UL3): the waste-to-energy plant is destined for the production of electricity from renewable sources, and in particular from RDF produced by the treatment of urban waste exclusively from the territory of the Lazio Region. During the period of reference the three lines of the plant ensured regular operations, both in terms of electricity produced and in terms of RDF used for energy recovery.
- Orvieto (UL4): in compliance with that stated in the Integrated Environmental Authorisation and the contract signed with the ATI and municipalities in the reference area, the conferment of non-hazardous urban and special waste continued, starting recovery and disposal activities on time. As regards the project submitted in 2014 for the morphological adjustment of the site and optimisation of the volumes and capping of the landfill, it should be noted that after a EIA/IEP preliminary investigation process that continued until January 2016, the Umbria Region has interrupted the verification phase without reason: Acea Ambiente has initiated appropriate legal proceedings.
Furthermore, in May 2017, the Company again appealed the judicial procedures for the annulment, subject to suspension, of the effectiveness of the Regional Council's resolution of the Umbria Region and of all the prerequisites, with which the Body approved the resolution with which it considered insurmountable the dissent declared by the Municipality of Orvieto in the context of the EIA - IEP coordinated procedure related to the project "Morphological adaptation of the site and optimisation of volumes and top capping - Orvieto landfill, Pian del Vantaggio no. 35/A".
In the last months of June, July and September, a number of institutional discussions were held at the headquarters of the Umbria Region to verify every possible project evolution to enable the site to be evaluated for the purposes of implementing the Regional Urban Waste Management Plan and in compliance with the indications contained in the Regional Deliberations approved up to now
The discussions allowed verifying the solutions most suitable for overcoming the dissent expressed by some institutions with regard to the project in question. In this sense, the Company presented a design change that allowed the continuation of the environmental compatibility verification activities during the Environmental Impact Assessment. The work of the Services Conference was restarted and the conference was convened for the day 23 April 2018. Following the negative opinion issued by the Municipality of Orvieto, the Umbria Region convened the Coordination Committee on environmental assessments for 21 May 2018. Here the Regional Council, on the basis of the Committee's findings, expressed a favourable opinion on the issue of the EIA authorisation, thus overturning the dissent of the Municipality of Orvieto.
The Umbria Region therefore issued a positive opinion on the Environmental Impact Assessment of the project under discussion, issuing DD no. 5559 on 1 June 2018. These authorisations allowed the start of the landfill expansion works on 16 July 2018, with the preparation of the 9-bis tier. The works are in the final phase and should be completed by April 2019.
- Monterotondo Marittimo (UL5): in 2017 the executive design and construction of the plant were awarded in the anaerobic/aerobic configuration with a total capacity of 70,000 t/year. During the month of May, construction activities began for the construction of the new plant by the entity that won the tender.
With reference to the composting activities carried out at the current plant, on 31 December 2017 the transfer of waste was interrupted. The plant was completely empty and therefore activities were completely suspended on 30/04/2018. During the month of May, construction activities began for the construction of the new plant by the entity that won the tender, and during June 2018 the works were handed over definitively.
The suspension is part of the current authorisation provisions and has become necessary also in relation to the operational needs that do not allow for the coexistence of operations with the construction of the new plant.
The extension and construction works of the anaerobic digestion section are in full swing and it is plausible to assume that the work will be completed on time, subject to any postponements relating to the complementary works on the pre-existing structures and any other unforeseen events.
- Sabaudia (UL6): during the period of reference, the plant underwent important redevelopment works that involved various areas. The Lazio Region issued the water permit with provision no. 1900 of 3 July 2018.
Following the positive outcome of the inspection carried out on 17 September 2018 by the Lazio Region, it was possible to restart the plant itself, as required by D.D. Authorisation no. G06449 of 21 May 2018, limited to the composting activity.
With regard to the liquid waste treatment plant section, the Company is awaiting the opinion of the Province of Latina regarding hydro-geological constraints in order to complete the preliminary authorisation procedure still pending with the Lazio Region.
- Aprilia (UL7): The plant is authorised for operation with an Integrated Environmental Authorisation issued by the Lazio Region with DD no. G08408 of 7 July 2015 and subsequent amendments.
Works are currently ongoing for the realisation of the new plant configuration, which will enable the current treatment capacity to be increased with the introduction of an energy recovery section.
The construction of the second-stage civil works will probably be completed by March 2019. In the meantime, the areas and works for the construction contract for electromechanical projects have already been delivered (third and last part). Note that on 14 December 2017, a preventive urgent seizure measure of the entire composting plant was issued, due to the findings of an audit activity by the Supervisory Authorities who found the presence of strong miasmas coming from the production cycle, thus generating discomfort for citizens living in the immediate vicinity of the plant.
Subsequently, the Lazio Region notified a formal notice measure to comply, requiring multiple activities to be carried out, aimed at overcoming the critical issues found.
Acea Ambiente, while considering that it is able to prove that it has implemented correct management of the plant in compliance with the IEP guidelines, fulfilled all the prescriptions given. In this regard, it should be noted that by provision dated 12 April 2018, the provisional use of the plant was permitted with the authorisation to restart the contributions.
Finally, note that the works for the construction of the front part aimed at limiting the odour emissions in the waste discharge phase have been completed. The Lazio Region carried out inspections with a positive outcome on 10 July 2018 and on 12 July 2018. The entity announced its acknowledgement.
All the fire prevention upgrades that allowed the compost storage warehouse to operate were also completed.
Again in relation to the Aprilia site, note that the Lazio Region has initiated a review procedure of the current authorisation for the part relating to the plant engineering section in operation.