The rule contained in the Aid Quarter Decree, which simplifies for companies the transition from gas to secondary solid fuel (CSS) produced from waste that is no longer recyclable, «is a measure consistent with the environmental project that our country is implementing in the wake of the Italian strategy on the circular economy launched in June 2021. It represents a great success of Confindustria Cisambiente which has been fighting for years to make this happen, and now that the possibility of using the CSS instead of natural gas is envisaged, the first phase is being carried out of an important dream that will become a structured project». Thus the general director of the association Lucia Leonessi comments on the result.
Stefano Sassone, director of the Technical Area of the same, specifies: «With the Dl Aiuti Quater our country supports the development of this energy vector and, above all, favors environmental protection as well as presenting advantages: first of all it contributes to the reduction of the treated waste in landfills, in compliance with the reduction objectives set by the EU for 2035. It also allows a reduction in the fossil fuels used, and above all a reduction in carbon dioxide emissions, given that each ton of CSS used corresponds to a saving of 1, 35 tons of CO2».
«CSS has a cost sixteen times lower than fossil fuels», adds Fabrizio D’Epiro general manager of Deco Group, operating in the sector: «It is an excellent substitute for fossil fuels such as coal, lignite and coke in many industrial processes energy-intensive, above all the production of cement. CSS is a renewable source because there will always be non-differentiable and non-recyclable waste », he concludes.
Giuseppe Dalena, president of the Italian Association of energy recovery from CSS (Airec) recalls that «the CSS market is still struggling to take off, although for ten years now, the political forces in government have periodically attempted to relaunch it. According to Federbeton, in 2021 in Italy the replacement rate of fossil fuels with alternative ones was 22% with 321,629 tons of CSS, while the European average is 52.2%. More than a gap, it is a gap, considering that the sector has a potential of 1 million tons, already widely available. The producers export 70% of it, thus dissipating an economic and energy value that could remain in our area, while the cement manufacturers are forced to procure large quantities of pet coke from abroad, sustaining the very high increases in energy costs which make them less competitive on the international market. Evidently there is a situation on which to intervene, beyond the demagoguery which too often impedes economic development».
Sonia Pierini, from the Porcarelli group, confirms the market’s potential: «In June 2022 we inaugurated a plant for the production of CSS in Finale Emilia (Modena): an investment of 18 million euros which doubles the production capacity of the company, which already has a plant of this type in Rome, bringing it to 80 thousand tons per year. Of these, 60-70% cross the Italian borders traveling to Germany, Switzerland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Bulgaria, with considerable logistical costs. For this market, the forecasts are for growth, unfortunately not for Italy, where the use of the CSS is still limited. The art. 4 bis of the Dl Aiuti Quater is a good opening in this sense and we will only have to try to make it permanent », she says.