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Saltillo, Coahuila, Mexico

Lorean landfill gas-to-energy project

Status: Completed construction

Background

One of the goals outlined in Saltillo’s 2010-2013 Municipal Development Plan (SMDP) is to extend the life of the landfill and reclaim waste to produce electricity. The landfill occupies 84 acres of a 148-acre property owned by the municipality. There are currently four cells in the landfill, three of which are no longer in use and are in the process of being closed. Cell #4 was constructed and began operating in 2012, with its expected useful life ending in 2016. Municipal plans include the construction of Cell #5 to meet the objective of ensuring
urban solid waste management capacity through 2022.

In September 2011, the Municipality awarded a concession to Lorean to develop and operate a landfill biogas recovery and power generation project, which will provide electricity to Saltillo under a self-supply permit. The full project is intended to supply up to 45% of the total amount of energy required by the municipality.

Based on information provided by Mexico's Federal Electricity Commission (CFE), the state of Coahuila currently has seven power plants in operation, including the only two coal-fired facilities in the country. During 2005, Coahuila’s plants generated more than 19,799 GWh, most of which (93%) was produced by the coal-fired plants.

Description

The project consists of designing, constructing and operating a biogas facility to capture and use methane gas from the Saltillo municipal landfill to generate electricity, with up to 1.7 MW of capacity. The main components of the biogas facility include vertical extraction wells and
transmission lines from the wells to an automated regulating and metering station. A main line from the metering station will convey the biogas to the gas extraction and power generation facility. The project also includes the construction of an internal substation to step-up the voltage for transmission to the CFE grid, and the interconnection to the
CFE grid at the entrance of the landfill. Built-in telemetry will allow for monitoring, control and troubleshooting, maximizing system availability and power output over the expected life of the project. All of the proposed infrastructure will be installed within the landfill.

Benefits

The electricity generated by the project will reduce the demand on traditional fossil-fuel-based energy production, contributing to the displacement of greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants that result from power generation using those technologies. Specifically, the project is expected to help displace 45,015 metric tons/year of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e). Moreover, capturing and burning the biogas (methane) from the landfill will prevent its release into the atmosphere. Additionally, the Municipality expects to reduce its energy expenditures by about 10%.

Project Financing

Total Project Cost US 6.15M
NADB Funding US 2.61M - NADB Loan
Other Funding Partners Market - rate loan
Equity from the project sponsor