City of New York New and Emerging Solid Waste Management Technology, Municipal Solid Waste Processing with Anaerobic Digestion, Biogas Generation and Energy Recovery

Posted on June 19, 2015

Client: Anaergia
Location: Proposed Sites in Pennsylvania and Long Island, New York
Project Type: Municipal Solid Waste Processing with Anaerobic Digestion, Biogas Generation and Energy Recovery
D&B Project Manager: Ronald C. Delo, P.E., BCEE
Project Cost: $40 million to $70 million

Project Description

Design and Construction Phase Services, Construction Scope of Work, Packaging and Delivery

D&B provided balance-of-plant engineering and environmental assessment services to Anaergia, a major developer of anaerobic digestion facilities, for a proposed project that would receive MSW from New York City for processing at Anaergia’s site. D&B assisted in the preliminary design and prepared construction and operation cost estimates for projects at two alternate sites. At each site, 450 ton per day (tpd) and 900 tpd processing designs were developed. D&B’s solid waste management, environmental, civil and structural engineering staff contributed to this effort. D&B’s services were initiated in August 2012.

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D&B’s role included working with the developer’s team to arrange the MSW preprocessing, digestion, odor control, materials handling and power generation components and define the building structure to enclose the complete system. D&B also developed site grading, roadway, drainage, paving and storm water management designs and plans for utilities extensions. D&B assessed the permitting requirements associated with solid waste management, air emissions, auxiliary fuels demand and chemical handling with MSDS. D&B prepared estimates of uncontrolled emissions and developed control plans, estimates of water use, wastewater generation and storm water volumes. A review of the consistency with the City’s solid waste management and greenhouse gas control plans was prepared. One of the alternate sites is on a closed landfill. Therefore, D&B developed estimates for work required to re-grade, disrupt and repair the cap and install piles for foundation support.

D&B provided assistance in exploring design options, including space requirements for the balance of plant equipment, size and orientation of buildings, building and site layouts, integration with anaerobic digesters and associated biogas and digestate handling equipment. The facility design and equipment layouts incorporated expandability from pilot scale to full scale operation. D&B assisted in developing projections of biogas production rates, and potential energy recovery.

Under the project construction plan Anaergia would retain the services of D&B to design and manage the construction and start-up of the facility. Anaergia would supply, test and start-up all the major equipment required for the project and would competitively procure construction contractor(s) for the construction of the facility from preselected qualified and experienced contractors. Facility operations would be conducted by an experienced facility operator.

Estimated Budget at Time of Bid

Capital, operating, and maintenance cost projections, revenue projections and net operating cost estimates for the 450 ton per day and 900 ton per day MSW anaerobic digestion facility were prepared by D&B. The estimated project capital cost ranged from $40 million to $70 million depending on the facility throughput capacity and the site location selected. The construction cost estimate was based upon D&B’s cost estimate for the civil, structural and utilities designs, environmental compliance measures and the processing system cost estimate provided by the AD system developer. The operations and maintenance costs estimates were based upon an operations and maintenance staffing plan, spare parts, supplies, utilities consumption and revenue (recyclables and power sales) estimates – all prepared by D&B. The construction costs were utilized by D&B to prepare debt service estimates, which were combined with the operations budgets to prepare net operating costs, projected for 20 years.

Actual Construction Cost

The City of New York did not proceed with construction of this project, or construction of other “new or emerging solid waste management projects” under consideration. Therefore, there is no actual construction cost associated with this project.

Project Schedule

D&B prepared a critical path schedule for project development and construction using Primavera project scheduling software. The critical path schedule incorporated pre-construction, construction, and facility start-up tasks to generate a complete project critical path timeline. The duration of the pre-construction phase which included the design of the facility, financing, contract negotiations and agreements for supply of utilities and contractor bidding and selection, was approximately 12 months. The construction phase of the project from initial mobilization through final completion was approximately 20 months. The City of New York did not proceed with construction of this project, or construction of other “new or emerging solid waste management projects” under consideration. Therefore, there are no actual pre-construction or construction durations or completion dates.

Specific Techniques or Unique Methods employed to explore design options, determine estimated construction costs, and/or monitor construction.

The project design and construction challenges included the fact that one proposed site location was on an existing closed landfill; the facility was to be constructed in phases; and the design included integration of various operations including material recovery operations, anerobic digestion, and biogas combustion with electric generation. Site development, building design and construction, utility supply and other design elements were required to incorporate specific techniques required for building on closed landfill sites including special pile installation techniques and cap repair around foundations and other cap penetrations. Site and building layouts required optimizing the location and layout of buildings to incorporate future expansion. Design of roadways, site access, and the design of utilities was complicated by the various operations on site.

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