Country to get power from waste in 2024

Originally posted in The Business Standard on 01 December 2021

Several contracts inked to implement the project

Infograph: TBS

Bangladesh has gone one step ahead to generate electricity from garbage as the government on Wednesday awarded the country’s maiden municipal waste-to-energy project – a move that will diversify the country’s renewable energy sources and help to manage waste.

A bunch of contracts were inked on the day to implement the project, which include power purchase agreement, waste supply agreement and land use agreement.

WTE Power Plant North Dhaka Private Limited, a company formed by China Machinery Engineering Corporation (CMEC), will implement the 42.5MW waste-to-power plant in the capital’s Aminbazar by 2024.

The Chinese company will invest around $300 million for implementing the project to generate electricity from waste using incineration technology. Incineration is a thermal treatment technology used to reduce the volume of waste requiring final disposal.

The Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) signed a contract with WTE Power to purchase electricity produced at the plant for 25 years at a cost of Tk18.29 per unit.

The project will help the government add more electricity from a renewable source and keep the city clean by managing municipal solid waste effectively, said Md Tazul Islam, minister of local government and rural development, while speaking as chief guest at the signing ceremony.

Nasrul Hamid, state minister for power, energy and mineral resources; and Md Atiqul Islam, mayor of Dhaka North City Corporation, among others, were present at the programme.

Mentioning that using municipal solid waste to generate electricity is somewhat a new concept in Bangladesh, Nasrul Hamid said the Aminbazar plant was going to be a large project in the renewable energy sector in the country.

Meanwhile, the DNCC signed two agreements with WTE Power Plant North Dhaka Private Limited to supply waste and land for the project.

Mayor Atiqul Islam said they would provide 30 acres of land to the CMEC at Aminbazar area for the project.

The proposed plant with a capacity to generate 42.5MW electricity will require 3,000 metric tonnes of solid waste per day.

As per the contract, the project will be implemented within 24 months following the required financial closing date, which is expected to be done within nine months of the project’s start.

On Wednesday, another contract was signed between WTE Power Plant North Dhaka Private Limited and Power Grid Company of Bangladesh.

The Power Division has long been pursuing the waste-to-energy project to ensure proper management of municipal solid waste.

Earlier, the first waste-to-energy project was planned to be built at Keraniganj, but the plan could not be implemented due to several technical and financial issues.

At present, Bangladesh is generating only 776.43MW of electricity from renewable sources, of which around 542.44MW is coming from solar and hydro holds the second position with a 230MW power-generation capacity.

The country has also set up plants to generate electricity from wind, biogas and biomass, but those have not seen much success.