To protect the environment, Bangladesh is building the country’s first waste-to-energy generating plant
The country’s first waste-to-energy power plant project is underway at Amin Bazar landfill expansion zone under the Dhaka North City Corporation’s (DNCC) aim for environmental protection.
If all goes well, the project will see the light of day in the next two years. However, there is a fear that the combustible waste crisis will disrupt the target of power generation. The city corporation and those involved in the project will face losses due to the scarcity of combustible waste.
According to the DNCC’s waste management department, two projects are currently underway for waste management in its 54 wards. The two projects are in the Amin Bazar Landfill Expansion area. Out of these two projects, the Modernization Project at the cost of Taka 7.86 billion and the other is Roads Cleaning and Waste Management Development Project at the cost of Taka 490 million through procurement of modern vehicles and equipment.
For the waste management of 54 wards of DNCC, waste removal activities were started in 2009 on 22.20 hectares of land at Amin Bazar Landfill.
According to the projection of the donor agency Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), the waste disposal program was expected to be completed in 2017. Still, the vertical extension (80 meters wide on the mainland) removes the waste.
In the next one-and-a-half years, it will no longer be possible to remove waste from here. The DNCC has completed the acquisition of 32.37 hectares of land at the cost of Tk 5500 million which is in preparation for removing waste. Construction of a power plant from waste is underway on 12.14 hectares of 32.37 hectares of land.
The Chinese company China Machinery Engineering (CMEC) is working to generate electricity from waste. The 42.5 MW power plant will cost Tk.15,325 crore (100 crores =1 billion).
The price of electricity per kilowatt will be Tk 18.75. The DNCC will compensate the Chinese company if it fails to supply the required waste.
Officials at the DNCC’s waste management department say an agreement has been reached with the CMEC to provide them with 3,000 tonnes of waste per day for power generation. However, they will not take construction waste.
At present, about 3,500 tons of waste are which is in DNCC. Of this, about 400 tons is construction waste. However, experts say that the country’s first waste power plant will face a waste crisis if the construction waste is left out.
An official of the city corporation related to waste management explained the matter, saying that several types of waste got collected from the capital. Meanwhile, CMEC has announced not to take construction waste.
Of all the other wastes, only combustible waste is suitable for power generation. Only 10 percent of the waste collected by the city corporation, i.e., 700 tons of waste, is combustible. If the waste power plant starts operating after two years, the maximum combustible waste will be 1000 tons.
The official also raised questions about the collected combustible waste. He said that every kg of waste in Dhaka has a calorific value of 600 kcal. But it is not possible to generate electricity without one thousand kilocalories. Most of the waste on it is wet. All in all, this decision does not seem to be correct.
Commodore M Saidur Rahman, Chief Waste Management Officer, DNCC, said, “We hope the DNCC will not fall into the waste crisis.”
Asked about the benefits of waste power plants, he said, “First of all, the environment will be protected, and the demand for landfills will be reduced.”
Mahbubuhar Rahman, secretary of Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB), regarding the project’s progress, said that “The Prime Minister has given moral approval to the project. Currently, i
t is under the review of the Ministry of Law. Once signed from there, the DNCC, the country’s first waste-to-energy power plant, will see the light of day.