By Graeme McNaughton/The Oshawa Express
The Durham York Energy Centre is now one step closer to coming back to full commercial operation – and it may be back online before the calendar turns to 2017.
According to recently released diagnostic test results, both boilers at the incinerator are emitting well below the contractual maximum amounts of dioxins and furans.
In a series of tests conducted at the end of September, it was found that Boiler No. 1 emitted an average of 9.93 picograms per reference cubic metre during high load times, and 8.59 for medium. Over at Boiler No. 2, the results were 19.9 and 16.1 respectively.
These tests are part of the abatement plan put in place after tests in May at Boiler No. 1 found it to be putting out approximately 818 picograms per reference cubic metre of dioxins and furans – well above the contractual limit of 60.
Gioseph Annello, the region’s manager of waste planning and technical services, says these tests were needed to see how well the facility was operating since changes were made following the May exceedances, and before it goes into full compliance testing.
“The whole idea around the diagnostic testing was that we had implemented new operating procedures, did some cleaning, bought some equipment and we were hoping to – and we did – evaluate two different operating scenarios to see what was the best one moving forward into compliance,” he tells The Oshawa Express.
Annello adds that the compliance testing was carried out earlier this month, with preliminary results expected to be in the region’s hands in the next two weeks, and final results to be presented to councillors in December. This means that if the incinerator meets the contractual limits in those tests, it will return to commercial operation before the end of the year.
“Once we have a successful source test, we can consider the abatement plan complete.”