Power plant ski slope may be shelved

The integration of an artificial ski slope into the expansion of a trash-burning power plant may not go ahead after environmental concerns are raised

December 7th, 2011 2:38 pm| by admin

The plan to redevelop the trash burning power plant, Amagerforbrænding, and wrap it in an artificial ski slope may not go ahead after the City Council opted not to provide a 2.5 billion kroner loan guarantee.

The plant lost the guarantee after concerns were raised that increasing the incinerator's capacity 30 percent to 560,000 tonnes of trash a year would significantly increase carbon dioxide emissions to 200,000 tons annually.

Despite the decision, Ayfer Baykal, deputy mayor for technical and environmental affairs, admitted that burning trash was still important for the city’s energy needs.

“Trash is still a resource which is becoming increasingly important and we in Copenhagen want to work together to find new and smarter ways to exploit it,” Baykal told Politiken newspaper.

The decision not to expand the plant’s capacity was met with approval from politicians as well as lobby groups.

“Amagerforbrænding wants to burn far more trash at a time when there is less trash available to it and where instead we should be recycling material and products and preventing the creation of large volumes of trash,” Christian Poll, of environmental lobby group Danmark’s Naturfredningsforening, told Politiken.

MP Ida Auken was also pleased with the announcement.

“The government is working on a green switchover and I see Copenhagen’s decision as an important signal to the many companies working in recycling” she told Politiken

But Mogens Lønborg, chairman of Amagerforbrænding’s board, disagrees with the decision, saying the plant is old and needs renovating.

According to Politiken, Lønborg said he will try and convince the City Council to change its mind, but will attempt to secure the four billion kroner loan even without the 2.5 billion kroner loan guarantee from the council.

Work on Amagerforbrænding’s ski slope, designed by acclaimed architect Bjarke Ingels, was due to start in 2012 and be completed in 2016.

The design incorporated 1,500 meters of ski runs down the artificial hill encasing the plant, with skiers taking an elevator back to the top that would allow them to see inside the plant.

The smokestack, which would be hidden within the hill, would release a smoke ring every time a tonne of carbon dioxide was released.

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