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New Report on the Future UK RDF Export Market

A new report “RDF Exports: Here for Good” by waste market specialists Tolvik examines the RDF market to 2025. This follows on from a number of examinations of the market over the recent weeks, summarised in our summer Clearview. This latest scrutiny of the future of energy from waste focusses on the major markets – Germany, The Netherlands, Sweden and the UK. It also considers the potential impact of the development of any capacity across wider European markets on these countries.  The report comes to a number of conclusions on the market including:

•    Assuming no net decommissioning of incineration capacity by 2020 the total overcapacity for Germany, Sweden and the Netherlands could rise to between 6.6 million tonnes (Mt) and 9.3Mt.
•    Five neighbouring markets are expected to be a source of a further 2.5 – 3.6Mt of overcapacity.
•    In the UK, it is projected on the basis of current trends that at least 8Mt of combustible waste will continue to either be landfilled or exported as RDF. The UK will continue to remain a market for RDF exports but it is unlikely that on a sustained basis volumes will rise too much above the current level of 2.5Mt per annum.
•    The probability significant volumes of RDF will be exported from Italy, Poland and other new EU states with a historic reliance on landfill look to be low.
•    It is estimated on average that the energy efficiency of Swedish incinerators means that they have a €30/t gate fee advantage over incinerators in the Netherlands and Germany. This is more than enough to offset the additional RDF transport costs from the UK to Sweden.
•    Whilst prices have risen of late and there will always be exceptions, £65/t is projected to be the lowest cost “ex works” RDF export price from the UK to Sweden; the equivalent figure for Germany is £84/t. Given the projected supply/capacity balance in the UK, these costs do not necessarily need to be competitive with gate fees at UK waste incinerators.
The report concludes that the single most significant factor with the potential to influence the market is the rate at which existing incineration capacity is decommissioned. At one extreme the report estimates that if all incinerators over 36 years of age in 2020 were to be decommissioned then the projected overcapacity in these markets would disappear. At the other the figure is 48 years. This is relevant as the design life of an incinerator is typically around 40 years.

At Clarity we offer an expanding network of  RDF outlets. Joining this network enables your material to be sent to any of several UK sites. If a single site is shut down for technical or weather reasons, we can find alternative solutions within our network, giving you full confidence that your waste stream will keep flowing.

To find out more about our RDF solutions call our team on 0845 129 7177

Our team will also be at RWM at the NEC Birmingham, 15 – 17 September – come talk to us there on stand 4N39 and find out more.


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