LAHORE: The Punjab government has asked the Lahore Waste Management Company (LWMC) to quickly complete the legal procedures required ahead of civil work on Pakistan’s first 40MW waste-to-energy project that is set to be launched by a Chinese consortium at Lakhuder area of the provincial capital.

Following the government’s instructions, the company has almost finalised two major agreements (first for handing over of over 25 acres land at Lakhuder and second for supply of 2,000 tonnes of waste for power generation) that are expected to be signed by all partners including LWMC and the consortium, according to official sources.

Last month, the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) had granted power generation licence to Lahore Xingshong Renewable Energy Company Ltd for setting up of 40MW waste-to-energy plant at Lakhuder (Lahore) at an upfront tariff of about 10 cents per unit.

Agreements on land, waste supply to be approved by BoD

Similarly, the Lahore Electric Supply Company and National Transmission and Despatch Company have also approved the study to connect the project with the national grid. The Punjab environment department too issued a no objection certificate (NOC) last month for launching the project.

“We have almost finalised the agreements for handing over of 25.63 acres land to the Chinese company at Lakhuder — a place (landfill site) where we dump the entire municipal waste of Lahore — and supply of 2,000 tonnes (per day) of waste to be used for 40MW power generation,” LWMC’s officiating Managing Director Farrukh Qayyum Butt told Dawn.

“We will soon submit draft of agreements to the company’s board of directors for approval. And after approval, the stakeholders (LWMC, Chinese Consortium) will sign these agreements,” he added.

Under the plan, the civil work on the project would be launched in April next year. And the company would accomplish the entire project (civil, electric, mechanical etc works) within a period of two years by April 2021. Since the Chinese consortium would bear the entire cost, except land, it has been awarded the project under Build, Own, Operate and Transfer (BOOT) basis for a period of 25 years.

After completion of 25-year operation, the consortium will be liable to transfer administrative and functional control of the project to the Punjab government.

“The consortium was shortlisted by the government under rules and regulations. The LWMC provided support for engineering and environmental testing for feasibility study.

Similarly, the company also hired a consultant for preparing waste supply and land lease agreement.

The entire jobs were accomplished in the light of opinions given by our legal adviser and the technical committee,” reads a brief report prepared by the LWMC.

According to another official, who preferred anonymity, the LWMC will soon hire another consultant to suggest per tonne it would charge to the Chinese consortium against supply of 2,000 tonne [of waste] daily.

“Besides this, we will also receive Rs50,000 per acre annual rent from the company for the land,” the official said.

Published in Dawn, August 9th, 2018