The Nivaria Joint Venture, formed by Urbaser and FCC Medio Mabiente, Starts Operating the waste management contract for Tenerife’s Island

  • The contract, with a budget of nearly 400 million euros and a duration of 15 years, represents an important commitment to sustainability and innovation on the part of the Cabildo Insular de Tenerife.
  • The service began on July 1 and includes the administration of the Tenerife Environmental Complex and the four waste management logistics centers.
  • Among the main novelties included in the contract is the increase in energy efficiency and in the use of renewable energies, which will enable the current carbon footprint to be reduced by up to 93%.

Urbaser and FCC Medio Ambiente, leading global companies in environmental management, make up the Nivaria joint venture, the company that has begun to provide the waste management service for the island of Tenerife.

The contract, with a budget of nearly 400 million euros, a duration of fifteen years and a possible extension of another four years, represents an investment of almost 52 million euros. It will serve more than 1 million inhabitants and represents an important commitment to sustainability and innovation on the part of the Cabildo Insular de Tenerife.

The service includes the administration of the Environmental Complex of Tenerife and of the four waste management logistics centers, with a possible incorporation of three more during the term of the contract.

On behalf of the joint venture, Carlos Pérez, Urbaser’s general manager of waste treatment, said that “we are approaching this contract with great enthusiasm, because it is in line with circular economy policies, encouraging the concessionaire to reduce the amount of waste we send to the landfill”, and Jordi Payet, general manager of FCC Medio Ambiente pointed out that this contract for the company he represents “is a new challenge in an important and demanding framework, which is the European and Spanish framework, and that we will meet all the challenges set for us administratively and provide a completely sustainable service for the island”.

The Councilor for Sustainable Development and Fight Against Climate Change of the Cabildo of Tenerife, Javier Rodríguez Medina, stressed the importance of “activating a new contract that will revolutionize the already obsolete model of waste management on the island”, and assured that “we could not continue to let time pass because this would mean going backwards, not only in the face of possible sanctions but also in the face of the environmental responsibility of continuing to bury waste”.

Rodríguez Medina pointed out that “a new stage is opening that will entail many changes, all of them necessary for waste management, a subject that was pending approval and that is already on its way to recovery”.

Main new features of the contract

Among the main novelties included in the contract is the increase in energy efficiency and the use of renewable energies, which will make it possible to achieve a 93% reduction in the current carbon footprint. To achieve this ambitious goal, among other actions, photovoltaic solar panels for self-consumption will be installed in all the facilities, covering an area of about 15,000 m2 (almost two soccer fields), and an installed power of more than 1,800 kW. In this way, around 4.5 million kWh will be generated, of which 3.6 million kWh will be self-consumed.

In the section corresponding to transportation, fossil energy consumption will be dispensed with and 100% renewable biofuel will be used. This means that the fleet that will provide the service on the island, more than 25 environmentally friendly vehicles, will help to considerably reduce CO2 emissions.

In terms of innovation, the latest technology will be used to increase the recovery of recyclable materials and data collection and processing systems will be incorporated to enable more efficient and transparent management, while reducing the number of incidents.

In the area of research, various R&D&I projects have been initiated and collaboration commitments have been activated with 13 research organizations and universities to become a center of reference. Likewise, the Sentinel Project for Long-Range Strategic Innovation has been created, and it has been proposed to become the headquarters of the European Association of Outermost Regions.

Tenerife Environmental Complex and Logistics Centers

Among the main tasks of the contract is the modernization of the new Tenerife Environmental Complex. Located in Arico, the expansion includes the construction of new facilities such as the solar sludge drying plant, the leachate treatment plant, the electricity generation plant with biogas microturbines and the photovoltaic plant, among others, as well as the expansion of the treatment plants (mechanical, biological, refining, degassing, WWTP, etc.) aimed at increasing the recovery of materials and energy.

As for the Urban Waste Management Logistics Centers, understood as those urban waste transfer plants, they will be complemented with new valorization activities that will affect three major areas: Waste Transfer, Bulky Waste Treatment and Clean Points. There may be up to seven facilities assigned to this task, three of them newly built, and they will be located throughout the island.

Planta Gestion Residuos Tenerife