Government to build 42.5MW waste-to-energy plant

    Originally published in The Financial Express on 16 June 2023

    The government expects to generate 42.5 megawatts of electricity per day from mixed waste at the Aminbazar landfill, once a planned project is implemented at the site, report agencies.

    Local Government, Rural Development and Cooperatives Minister Md Tazul Islam disclosed this Thursday.

    The government is set to begin construction of its first incineration the plant on July 20 amid an ongoing power crisis.

    Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will lay the foundation stone at Amin Bazar, said Tazul Islam.

    On Thursday, the ministry held a preparatory meeting on initiating the construction of the ‘waste-to-energy incineration plant’ at Dhaka North City Corporation’s Amin Bazar landfill.

    Bangladesh is producing a lot of waste but those are never put to use, according to Tazul. So, the government has opted for the waste-to-energy route, he said.

    The Local Government Division, Power Development Board and Dhaka North City Corporation signed a contract with the China Machinery Engineering Corporation in 2021 for a project to generate power from waste. The company will be given 30 acres of land to implement the project under the contract.

    The government has already acquired the land in Amin Bazar at a cost of Tk 3.36 billion, and will supply 3,000 tonnes of waste as raw materials daily after the project sets off, the minister said.

    The power plant will be built costing around $300 million and. Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) will purchase power from the plant in next 25 years once the plant is implemented, the minister said.

    However, the government has made no financial investment in the project. The Power Division will directly purchase the electricity generated by the plant.

    The government expects the plant to produce 42.5 MW of electricity per day, which will be cheaper than the electricity generated using diesel. The output will likely be added to the national grid in October 2025.

    The prime minister has already authorised the construction of similar waste-to-energy plants in Chattogram, Gazipur, and Narayanganj as well, the minister said.

    “We’ve signed a contract with the Chinese company to supply 3,000 tonnes of waste per day and we’re bound to pay a fine of $3,000 if we fail to do so. At the same time, the company will pay the same fines if they fail to supply the pre-determined power output,” said DNCC Mayor Atiqul Islam.

    Currently, at least 3,500 tonnes of mixed waste are produced in the DNCC area, Atiqul said.

    It will be supplied to the plant after filtering out construction materials, and human and animal waste.

    “We’ll purchase the electricity generated from waste and the price will be around Tk 21. It will be subsidised by the government,”‘ said State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid.

    The LGRD minister said production of waste has increased several times in both rural and urban areas and the country will face danger unless the increased waste is managed properly.

    Tazul said that the decision was taken to generate power through waste disposal following the incineration system to keep the environment neat and clean.

    He said there is no alternative to such power plants for sustainable development and to cope with the increasing demand for power.

    State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid said the country’s power sector will be strengthened through the implementation of the project with foreign funds.