Calm before the storm? Gas crisis could roil the German waste to energy market

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The German market for the incineration of commercial and industrial (C&I) waste is calm and balanced. There are no signs of the nearly crisis-level bottlenecks seen last year, when bunkers at the waste-to-energy (wte) plants were overflowing and waste management companies and skip hire firms had full yards because there was no free treatment capacity. "The market has completely turned around,” said one market participant – and there has been growing pressure on gate fees for commercial waste at energy from waste plants (EfW) in the past few weeks.

The current situation is mainly due to the overlapping crises stemming from the pandemic and the war in Ukraine. China’s ongoing "zero-Covid" measures are still disrupting supply chains: The resulting uneven global distribution of shipping containers is driving a significant rise in freight costs and thus impacting industrial production in Germany as well. The coronavirus pandemic was already shaping market developments last year – and even though public attention is no longer as focused on the virus, the effects on supply chains are still being felt.

In the previous years of the pandemic, many people were not particularly concerned about the economy – they decluttered cellars, replaced their roofs, or replanted their gardens. But in the current situation – the energy crisis and soaring inflation, with rising interest rates and higher grocery prices – consumers are more cautious and sometimes even deeply worried about making ends meet....

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