Ruling of the Council of State: fly ash may be transported to German salt mines

At the very end of 2018, the Council of State issued a ruling stating that the use of fly ashes for stabilising salt mines is considered a useful application and that its export is permitted. This is an important ruling for Twence. The possibility of applying or processing fly ashes is limited. A ban on export could disrupt the production process. We are therefore very pleased with this ruling, which is a final ruling that can no longer be appealed.


Stabilisation of salt mines
We are exporting a large portion of our fly ashes to German salt mines, where it is used to stabilise old underground mine galleries. The purpose is to prevent subsidence at the surface of these mines. The German government obliges mine owners to stabilise their mine galleries and the use of fly ashes for this purpose is considered a useful application.

Export permits
In 2016, the European Court of Justice issued a ruling stating that the use of hazardous waste, or waste that is not inert, for filling a stone quarry in Italy, does not constitute a useful application. On the basis of this ruling, the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management in the Netherlands decided that filling salt mines with flue gases also does not constitute a useful application. The Ministry subsequently no longer issued any export permits for the use of fly gas in German salt mines. Twence, together with other energy from waste plants, instituted legal proceedings against this ruling.