By Eleftheria Piperopoulou
The benefits of PPPs for the country and the citizens were mentioned, among others, by the deputy managing director of TERNA Energy, Giorgos Agrafiotis, on the sidelines of yesterday’s special event for the presentation of the Waste Management Unit in Paleochuni, Arcadia.
“As a company we believe that the institution of PPPs is what the country and the citizens need. It gives lower costs, ensures the operations of the units for 25 years, gives a fixed gate fee for citizens and mayors, so they can plan in depth year, the municipal fees, while the public manages to mobilize more funds”, said Mr. Agrafiotis, speaking to journalists.
In addition, Mr. Agrafiotis emphasized that the “core” of PPPs is the company’s technology and know-how to produce results that can be commercially “pulled” from the market. In this context, both the Peloponnese waste management units and the Epirus unit produce recyclables which can be directed to the Greek market and exported to other countries.
As mentioned, the export of the secondary product from the Arcadia Unit has already started, to countries such as Portugal and Germany, with this extra income feeding the Green Fund. Explaining, the deputy managing director of TERNA Energy stated that the excess income from the sale of secondary products (energy, recyclables, secondary fuel, etc.) is shared 50% with the Solid Waste Management Agency (FODSA), subsequently reducing the burden for the citizen. “It is important, therefore, that the private person running a PPP unit has control over the outputs. That is, the outputs are under the control of the contractor, who has the incentive to develop good products and sell them, benefiting the citizens at the same time, since half of the revenue from the surplus goes to the Green Fund”, explained Mr. Agrafiotis.
Hope for “unfreezing” of the process in Attica
Asked by journalists if the Peloponnese units could also cover other areas, such as e.g. Attica, Mr. Agrafiotis estimated that at this stage this technical possibility does not exist, because the waste of the Peloponnese region is – at least at the moment – more than conventional waste. After all, as he added, the national and regional plans put several barriers that do not allow the transfer from region to region.
Asked about the two tenders for Athens and Piraeus, he expressed the hope that the new regional authority will restart the procedures. “The nominations have been submitted, but at the moment the matter is ‘frozen'”, said Mr. Agrafiotis, clarifying that some additional steps have been taken for Piraeus, as the competitive dialogue has begun. Asked, finally, about the reasons of the delay, Mr. Agrafiotis did not want to comment, speaking of a purely political matter, while he mentioned that the construction of the units takes two years from the moment the tenders are completed.
The Peloponnese is leading the way
Earlier, speaking at the special event, which took place in the presence of the Prime Minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, the deputy CEO of Terna Energy, stated that the Arcadia unit is one of the most modern in Europe, adding that during the 6-year consultation many opinions were heard and there were many controversies about the what is the best. “We assure you that we did not just do the good, but the best”, he pointed out.
For the unit in Paleohouni, he pointed out that it breaks performance records every day, having better results for the environment, tourism and agriculture. In addition, he added, that the energy it produces is twice as much as it consumes, serving the needs of 6,000 households, while it prevents the burial of at least 50,000 tons of liquid waste, as well as the release of 24,000 tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
Also, as he mentioned, within just a few months, the Unit is already operating with larger than conventional amounts of waste. As he explained later, speaking to journalists, this particular unit contractually handles 105,000 tons per year. However, in the previous period, and especially before the summer, two touristic municipalities -Sparti and Mani- had no way of management. Therefore, by decision of the ministry, during this period and until last September when the transitional management of Laconia began, the waste was directed to Arcadia.
Litter, moreover, has a large variation during the summer months. Therefore, the Arcadia unit worked at 130% of its capacity throughout the summer months.
As Mr. Agrafiotis continued, the tender in which the company participated in 2013 was initially for a total of 200,000 tons and for the three Peloponnese units (Arcadia, Messinia and Laconia), which are apparently designed for larger quantities, so that they can meet the increased summer demand. He said that all three units already cover all the waste of the Peloponnese region.
The Arcadia Unit alone manages over 50% of the municipal solid waste generated in the Peloponnese Region, while the remaining 50% is currently being processed in the Transitional Units of Messinia and Laconia, which are expected to be fully operational by 2024 operation and these.
K. Mitsotakis: 600 million euros for waste management throughout the country
Speaking about the Waste Management Unit in Paleochuni of Arcadia, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis spoke of a great day that changes the life of the Peloponnese. The prime minister underlined that this unit not only exempts the Region from the burden of the environmental burden, but at the same time relieves taxpayers from burdens of millions of euros, which entailed the continuous fines of the European Union in our country
In addition, as he added, the upgrading of everyday life will be accompanied by economic upgrading, as new jobs are created. Specifically, during the construction of the unit, 800 jobs were created, while the permanent positions will be 200.
With the new data, it is estimated that the Peloponnese will be one of the first Regions to achieve the goal of the National Waste Management Plan to reduce the burial rate below 10% by 2030.
It is worth noting that the total investment amounts to approximately 167 million euros (70 million NSRF subsidy), while as the Prime Minister pointed out, 600 million euros will be allocated in the next period for waste management throughout the country.
For his part, the president and managing director of GEK Terna, Giorgos Peristeris, after thanking the prime minister, emphasized that the project, while it was tendered in 2013, started in 2021. “Within two years, we deliver the most modern waste management unit in Greece “, he emphasized.