New Courtice incinerator hits further Flaws

CLARINGTON — Clarington’s brand new energy-from-waste facility will probably be delayed a second time because the boilers are not functioning properly and the ongoing startup period could cost Durham Region an extra $1 million.

“I’d rather see it delayed and performed right than hurried,” explained Clarington Mayor Adrian Foster.

The Durham York Energy Centre facility, located in Courtice, was scheduled to be completely operational on Dec. 14, 2014. Now the Durham York Energy Centre is not predicted to be in full working order until the past quarter of 2015.

The significant systems of the EFW facility are analyzed. The boiler temperature is high enough for the combustion process however the steam temperature isn’t high enough, and officials are not certain what the problem is, states Durham’s works commissioner, Cliff Curtis.

The steam temperature needs to be high enough to drive the turbine-generator. If the steam is too cool it can harm the turbine.

“It is like running a car with oil,” said Mr. Curtis.

Covanta, the company building and operating the facility for Durham and York regions, has taken the boilers down for alterations, based on Mr. Curtis. It is likely to take three weeks for the repairs and alterations. Then there’ll be a four-week presentation period, followed by a 30-day approval test.

“We’re not getting the temperature we expected from the boiler. Once we get up the temperature, I believe everything will fall into place,” said Mr. Curtis. “It is Covanta’s difficulty to provide us the product that performs the way they said, so they’re going to take the time they need.”

The delay means added consultant costs for construction management, legal advice and baseline ambient air observation. A Durham Region works report said Durham’s share of the extra costs is $1 million, which can be offered by a temporary draw on the good waste management reserve fund.

“What’s the last cost going to look like?” “There are definitely issues with getting it started out”

Since Jan. 16, Durham has been charging Covanta a $10,000-a-day late fee for every day the EFW facility is not fully operational. The invoice has been sent to Covanta, however, it has not been paid yet, according to Mr. Curtis. It was part of a testing stage before the facility opens completely.

Durham cancelled landfill contracts and began sending crap into the Courtice facility. Some garbage was burned at the EFW plant throughout the evaluation phase, without producing power to the grid.

Until the EFW facility is up and running, the Region only pays Covanta half cost of the agreed upon per-tonne charge. However, Durham isn’t making any money until the plant is fully operational and promoting electricity back onto the grid.

“We’re still on budget. I’d rather be getting power sales on the grid,” said Mr. Curtis.

There are a few loose ends that could end up costing Durham Region more money. There is still disagreement with former property owners on the value of the property expropriated for the facility, and a ruling is not expected until fall of next year. The final cost for the utility construction and link prices is anticipated in coming months. The baseline ambient air observation runs till the EFW facility is operational, so the delay in opening means an ongoing monitoring cost.

“There is some minor cost over-runs on a few of the smaller items but normally we are financially on course to bring this on budget and we look forward to having it online by the end of the calendar year,” said Mr. Curtis.


The Durham York Energy Centre is designed to process around 140,000 tonnes of waste every year, and generate 17.5 gross megawatts of renewable energy — sufficient to electricity between 10,000 and 12,000 houses. A key part of the economic case for your energy-from-waste facility depends on it creating electric power revenue.

The Durham York Energy Centre is designed to process up to 140,000 tonnes of waste each year, and generate 17.5 gross megawatts of renewable energy — enough to power between 10,000 and 12,000 homes. A key part of the economic case for the energy-from-waste facility depends on it generating electrical power revenue.