We welcome the government's decision to set up the country's first ever waste-based power plant in Jalkuri in Narayanganj district. It was decided in a recent cabinet meeting that the state-run Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) will set up the plant after signing agreements with a consortium of concerned companies. The deal would be signed for 20 years and BPDB would pay Tk 1,665.48 crore to the consortium to buy electricity from the plant during this period. The electricity per kilowatt-hour would cost Tk 17.60.
Over the last 20 years, we came across many initiatives by the government and BPDB to set up waste-based power plants. Unfortunately, none of them succeeded due to high cost, absence of policy support and a lack of coordination among government agencies. A waste-to-energy project, undertaken by BPDB in the recent past in Keraniganj municipal area, was cancelled because of the high cost of electricity tariff—Tk 40 per kilowatt hour—offered by the interested private firm, as well as a deficiency of solid waste. Last year, the government took initiatives to set up such plants with garbage collected from the city corporation areas of Dhaka and Chattogram. The first project was supposed to be implemented in the Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) area on a pilot basis. But later, we did not get any update on this project.
Reportedly, the two dumping stations of Dhaka north and south city corporations at Aminbazar and Matuail are going to be filled within a very short time. It was also reported that the landfill in Aminbazar was operating without any environmental clearance. These landfills have been causing serious environmental pollution to the surrounding areas and water bodies, which must stop.
The country needs a sustainable waste management system and solid waste-based power plants could be one solution. If the Narayanganj project sees success, more such projects can be undertaken in our urban areas, particularly in Dhaka. We hope this time things will move positively and all the stakeholders concerned will be serious in implementing the project.