Covanta launches $302 million expansion project

By Anna Austin
As a result of service agreement amendments with the city and county of Honolulu, Covanta Energy Corp. will expand its waste-to-energy facility to increase its current capacity by approximately 40 percent.

Covanta Energy operates more than 40 waste-to-energy facilities across the globe. These plants collectively convert 20 million tons-or more than 5 percent-of the nation's waste into renewable energy each year.

The $302 million expansion project, will be designed, built and operated by Covanta, but funded and owned by the city and county of Honolulu. Covanta Honolulu Resource Recovery Venture, or "H-Power," currently produces about 2,160 tons of refuse per day. It will be increased by 900 tons per day, or the equivalent of handling the municipal solid waste (MSW) produced by 850,000 residents and 6 million visitors annually. The overall waste processing capacity of the facility will reach 900,000 tons when complete.

The agreement also includes an extension of Covanta's tenure as the facility's operator for 20 years from initial start-up of the expansion, which the company estimated to occur within 24 to 34 months. H-Power will have the potential to generate 84 megawatts, which will be sold to Hawaiian Electric Co.

Covanta has operated the H-Power facility, which is located on 28 acres in Campbell Industries Park, Kapolei, Hawaii, for more than 15 years after it acquired the facility in 1993 from Combustion Engineering.

In early January, Covanta Spokeswoman Vera Carley said construction of the expansion will begin within the next 30 days. "We're waiting for the final permits to get started," she said. The renovation will consist of a new boiler building and tip floor, which will be half of the size of the boiler building and tip floor building in the existing plant, according to Carley.

-Anna Austin