In two years, Dhaka's increasing demand for electricity could be met by the waste it generates.
A waste-to-energy project has been finalised by the government to generate electricity from the garbage of Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) areas. The project aims at not only producing 42.5 MW electricity, but also disposing of the rubbish produced in the capital.
This was announced by Power Secretary Dr Sultan Ahmed on Saturday at a webinar titled 'EP Talks: Potentials and Potentials of Replacing Captive Generation with Quality Power Supply'.
"A proposal has already been sent to the Cabinet Committee on Public Purchase for an approval. Hopefully, once it is approved, the project will play a significant role in managing the waste of DNCC areas," Dr Sultan said.
Within two years, the project will start, he also said, adding, "A similar project is now being implemented in Narayanganj in collaboration with the Narayanganj City Corporation, which will generate 6 MW power."
Meanwhile, officials of the state-owned Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) said that the new waste-to-energy project is being implemented under a tripartite agreement between the BPDB, DNCC and a private sponsor.
A Chinese firm -- CMC -- has been selected as the sponsor under an unsolicited process, which will set up an incineration-based plant at its own cost on build-own-operate basis.
The DNCC will ensure adequate supply of garbage for generating electricity for the project, while BPDB will purchase electricity from the project for a period of 20 years. "The tariff has been set at 20.9 US cents for the Narayanganj project, which will cost Tk 17-18 for each unit," said a PDB official.
Heat generated from burning the solid municipal waste will be used to produce power, officials said, adding that such projects are already available in China and many other Asian countries.
Several initiatives were taken before to generate power from solid municipal waste in the last 20 years, but none was implemented.
Official sources said the new project plan came into the forefront as the two dumping stations of DNCC and Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) at Aminbazar and Matuaile are going to be filled within two years.
The Department of Environment has also raised concerns about the existing waste management system, which creates environmental risks.