News, Events and Culture

Reducing our energy footprint

Thursday April 6 2017

A new pipeline bringing landfill gas from the decommissioned Awapuni Landfill gas engine to the Wastewater Treatment Plant will reduce the city’s energy footprint.

Photo shows a large steel gas pipe connected to a generator.

Waste gas from Palmerston North's closed landfill is helping to power the neighbouring Wastewater Treatment Plant.

The gas has been rerouted to the existing biogas engine at the Totara Road Wastewater Treatment Plant that was installed in 2010.

"When we decommissioned the landfill gas engine we no longer had a use for the gas," PNCC Wastewater Asset Engineer Phil Burt says.

"Meanwhile the biogas engine at the Wastewater Treatment Plant had a shortfall. We took the opportunity to install a new pipeline which means we can fully use the biogas engine at the Wastewater Treatment Plant to generate more electricity," he says.

"Essentially we’re connecting the existing gas networks on the old landfill and then piping it 700 metres to the existing biogas generator at the plant."

A year of investigation and analysis took place before the decision was made, with construction taking only a matter of weeks. 

"While we’ve increased the biogas production at the Wastewater Treatment Plant, there still wasn’t enough to run the engine 100 percent," Mr Burt says. "The idea is we bring this as an additional gas from the closed landfill and mix it in with the biogas to generate at 100 percent load. This will produce enough electricity to run the plant and also give us some surplus. It’s a beneficial use of a waste gas and we’re reducing our energy footprint."