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Area Impianti calls on Sodimate to treat waste incineration flue gases as part of the modernisation of the Lescar waste incineration plant

Area Impianti calls on Sodimate to treat waste incineration flue gases as part of the modernisation of the Lescar waste incineration plant

Area Impianti asked Sodimate to help modernise the Lescar waste-to-energy plant, which is designed to process almost 85,000 tons of waste a year, including 65,000 tons of household waste from Valor Béarn’s member local authorities.

Area Impianti specialises in the mastery of technologies for flue gas treatment and heat recovery in various sectors, including waste recovery / CSR, energy production from biomass and in the cement and glass industries.

In this context, Urbaser Environment called on Area Impianti to modernise its Lescar site.

Giacomo Scotto, Area Impianti’s Sales Manager for France, stated in the past that at the start of 2020, the elected members of the Syndicate Valor Béarn’s trade union committee assessed the need to carry out modernisation work on the Lescar waste-to-energy plant. The contract, which was due to start in April 2020 and run for 20 years, is worth more than €225 million, including the modernisation work.

When it comes to modernisation work, it is essential to carry out an in-depth analysis beforehand, so as to fully understand the site, its needs and its particular features. The aim is to make the most of the existing elements while striking a balance between the impact of the work, the shutdown times and the new performance to be guaranteed. It is essential to consider environmental aspects, investment costs and future management costs.


Work began in 2021 with the implementation of a modernisation program that will have a significant impact on improving the performance of the treatment unit.

Area Impianti has optimised the L4 and L5 flue gas treatment lines, incorporating advanced technologies for effective emissions management. Each line is equipped with a dry reactor, bag filter, high-temperature SCR, draught fan and residue transport system.

A common system between the two lines manages the dosing and injection of sodium bicarbonate for deacidification and activated carbon to eliminate heavy metals, dioxins and furans, as well as ammonia solution for the catalytic reactor to eliminate nitrogen oxides.

In common with Sodimate for the 2 lines:

The installation consists of a sodium bicarbonate silo with two buffer hoppers as well as an activated carbon silo with two buffer hoppers.

Two sets of feeders and conveyors under the silos were installed to extract and transport the sodium bicarbonate and activated carbon from the silos to the buffer hoppers.

The ZDM 400 extraction system installed underneath the silos is designed to extract various reagents stored in silos evenly and efficiently. It has the ability to break up any build up that may form inside the silos, guaranteeing a continuous and regular supply of product to the screw conveyors or dosing systems.

The purpose of these hoppers are to store sodium bicarbonate & activated carbon, thus ensuring a reserve of reagent. Below each buffer hopper, a system consisting of a feeder and two dosing devices has been installed. This device is designed to precisely feed the pneumatic transfer systems, guaranteeing a flow of bicarbonate and activated carbon adjusted to the requirements of the downstream process.


Every year, more than 68,000 tons of waste is generated in the region. This waste is incinerated in two huge furnaces located at the center of the plant in Lescar. This incineration produces a considerable amount of energy, which is used to generate electricity.

The water in the network is heated to 90°C in the waste-to-energy plant, using the household waste incinerator. It then flows through a gigantic 44-kilometre underground pipeline into the streets of Lescar, Lons and Pau. This heating network is connected to public buildings such as the university, health establishments such as hospitals and clinics, and apartment blocks.

The main challenges are the meeting standards that must be met. The waste treatment sector is constantly evolving, guided by strict European standards. Every two years, France reports on its waste management, highlighting its commitment to transparency and continuous improvement.

Faced with economic and regulatory challenges, companies in the incineration sector are investing in advanced, environmentally-friendly technologies to remain competitive. Innovation and flexibility are key to meeting technical challenges and remaining leaders in waste incineration.

What is the environmental impact of the plant?

Atmospheric emissions are very low, thanks to the use of cutting-edge technologies that have been developed and perfected. Below are the commitments made by Area Impianti to guarantee air emission levels in Lescar:

By using a dry abatement configuration, Area Impianti and Sodimate guarantee a flue gas treatment system that generates no liquid waste. 

Lastly, despite incineration temperatures of 850°C, some minerals, such as glass, silica and metal oxides and hydroxides, resist incineration. These inert materials that could not be burnt, known as bottom ash, will be recycled as public works materials (backfill, road pavement).


After completion of the works, the unit will produce 40,000 MWh/year of electricity and 62,000 MWh/year of heat, which will supply the new heating network for the Greater Pau area from 2022.

Efficiency: The energy transformed into hot water for the Pau metropolitan district heating network and into electricity for resale on the national grid means that the plant now achieves an energy efficiency rate of over 95%. By 2023, this unit will have become one of the most efficient in France.

The homes of five major local authorities (Pau conurbation, Siectom Coteaux Béarn Adour, Pays de Nay, Haut-Béarn and Vallée d’Ossau communities) are supplied with energy from the UVE. This represents almost 20,000 inhabitants, with a total of around 3,500 homes to be served by 2022, and the number will grow over time.


The key message of this project is that technology should be used to enhance and improve our environment, and that we need to work together to protect our planet.

“For over 20 years, our collaboration with Sodimate has been a partnership we cherish. The solid vision and alignment with our values that they bring to our smoke treatment projects is crucial to working in synergy and achieving our common goals with efficiency and innovation. Sodimate’s expertise and their consistent approach with our mission reinforce our commitment to sustainable, high-performance solutions.” Giacomo Scotto, Area Impianti’s Sales Manager for France.

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