Two Colombian institutions, CIDET and University EIA, and a UK-based company, Exergy Ltd, have come together to identify the most feasible, environmentally friendly, and suitable methods for waste treatment and energy generation in Medellin, Colombia.

“Medellin needs an urgent solution! Approximately 70.000 tons of solid waste are generated every month with a cost of £644,700 for its inhabitants and in the next decade they would need around £200 million to expand and build new landfills. Why not use these waste and economic resources to generate energy instead?” says Fernando Centeno, Head of the Research Planning at Exergy Ltd.

This project, funded by Prosperity Fund UK, is a pioneering initiative in Latin America since the innovative and well-known Exergy Assessment Methodology will be applied for the first time in Medellin with the potential for ground-breaking results.

The Exergy Methodology, developed by leading R&D organisations, is a revolutionary concept that combines the optimal use of scarce resources such as energy, water, and materials and minimizes the emissions of CO2 and other contaminants. A pilot study in a group of facilities in Twin Cities, Minnesota showed that the exergy performance could be increased by 64%, CO2 emissions reduced by 39%, and ground water reduced by 73%.

This initiative will generate significant environmental and economic benefits to Medellin such as a reduction in CO2 by 20%, an ROI within less than 10 years, and additionally create thousands of jobs for the construction, waste treatment, and renewable energy sectors.

“We believe that collaboration between the local authorities and the key stakeholders is essential for this project’s success. In order to facilitate this project, there must be a favourable political and economic environment. The ultimate goal is to build the first Waste-to-Energy Plant in Latin America together with the support and engagement of the citizens of Medellin,” says Gustavo Martinez, Project Manager at Exergy Ltd.


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