Energy from garbage: IMC mulls Chinese option

Chengdu Xingrong group intends to set up waste-fuelled power plant in capital


Shahzad Anwar March 11, 2017
Chengdu Xingrong group intends to set up waste-fuelled power plant in capital. PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD: In what appears to be a bid to solve the power supply problem for Islamabad, the Capital Development Authority (CDA) and the Islamabad Metropolitan Corporation (IMC) are negotiating terms with Chinese companies to produce electricity from the city’s garbage.

Under the plan, a plant would be set up which would burn around 1,000 tonnes of waste to produce around 10-13 megawatts of power.

In this regard, Chinese company Chengdu Xingrong Group gave a detailed presentation to CDA and IMC officials in the presence of Islamabad Mayor and CDA Chairman Sheikh Anser Aziz earlier week.

CDA Member Planning Asad Mehbood Kiyani told The Express Tribune that the Chinese company had proposed to build a state-of-the-art clean energy power plant which would burn solid waste.

The heat generated by this process can be used to generate electric power.

Kiyani added that the company had already completed a study to build a plant which would produce 47 MW of from solid waste in Lahore. Plans and feasibility of that project, the CDA official said, would be shared with the civic agency this month.

He added that the company had suggested replicating the Lahore model for the federal capital.

In this regard, a CDA source said that civic bodies would be approaching the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) to devise a rational electric tariff for the company.

However, a local representative of the Chengdu Xingrong Group said that the capital only generates enough solid waste to produce less than half the amount of power the plant in Lahore would

“IMC claims that it collects 700 tonnes of waste from the developed sectors of the federal capital daily, which is expected to increase to 1,000 tonnes in the future,” noted Vaqar Babar, Chengdu Xingrong Group local representative.

“We offered to produce 10-13MW of electricity from 1000 tonnes of solid waste,” Babar told The Express Tribune.

He added that even if they designed for a plant which processes 700 tonnes of waste, they estimate that the company would be required to invest around Rs23.4 billion.

Further, Babar said that the facility would create employment for as many as 137 people at the plant, including technicians, operators, and supporting crews.

However, the company would require around 15 acres land to build the plant, land which the civic agency would have to provide.

Asked about building the plan on BOT basis, Babar said that the company was willing to do that.

Moreover, the company would arrange to fund for the project on its own and it would not cost the civic body any money. Instead, he argued that it would help the CDA dispose of its waste while producing electricity at very economical rates.

The Chinese company official claimed that the mayor and other CDA officials had appreciated their plan and had suggested two potential sites to build the plant. One site is in Sector I-9 near CDA’s Sewerage Treatment Plant (STP) while the other is on Kurri Road.

Babar assured that the plant would meet ISO certifications as well as Pakistan’s Environmental Protection Agency (Pak-EPA) standards.

Meanwhile, the IMC said that it has already put in motion plans to gather the material to feed the plant.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 11th, 2017.

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