Chinese firm licenced to generate 40MW from solid waste

The National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) on Monday granted generation licence to Lahore Xingzhong Renewable Energy Company (Private) Limited for a waste-to-energy (WTE) power plant at Lakhodair landfill site.

The project shall have an installed capacity of 40 megawatt (MW) with two turbine generators of 20MW capacity each, while the total cost of the proposed project is $220 million.

“The power plant will deploy state of the art incineration type generation facility and the most suitable WTE technology and help reduce 2000 tons/day of the city’s municipal solid waste,” the NEPRA statement said.

The NEPRA has already announced a Competitive Upfront Tariff of US cents 10.007/kWh for waste-to-energy projects based on 25 years operational period, with overall capacity cap of 250MW wherein share of each province and Federal Territory have been kept at 50 MW each.

The statement added that successful implementation of the project would pave the way for other such initiatives to solve pressing waste disposal problems and challenges of limited space for landfills and gas emissions resulting cleaner cities and healthy life.

The project is expected to start commercial operation by the end of year 2022 and the electricity generated from this project would be fed to the Lahore Electricity Supply Company (LESCO) grid.

Three Chinese companies including China ENFI Engineering Corporation, MCC Tongsin Resources Co Ltd and Chengdu Xingrong Environemt Co Ltd established the new Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) Company named Lahore Xingzhong Renewable Energy jointly to undertake the proposed project.

The SPV company will be responsible for investment, construction, operation and transfer of the project. A 24-month construction period has been fixed for such power plants.

For protection from environmental hazards, power producers will obtain necessary approval from relevant government agencies.

The NEPRA, in its notification, said in Pakistan roughly more than 20 million tons of municipal solid waste was generated with an annual growth rate of 2.4 percent. “All major cities i.e. Islamabad, Lahore, Karachi, Peshawar, Quetta etc are facing enormous challenges in tackling the problem of urban waste,” it said. The power regulator added that thousands of people die every year due to waste-related diseases.

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