LAHORE: The work on the proposed 100MW waste-to-energy project is picking up momentum as German and Thai firms are interested in launching their projects under the public-private partnership.

“We signed an MoU with a German firm under which we will be liable to provide a minimum of 2,000 metric tons of solid waste to the company for power generation daily,” Lahore Waste Management Company (LWMC) Managing Director Ali Anan Qamar told Dawn.

He said the project would not only consume 24 million metric tonnes of legacy waste but also the 5,000 to 7,000 tonnes of fresh waste that were collected daily and added to the legacy waste lying at the Lakhudair (Mahmood Booti) landfill site.

“Such a huge waste is not only contaminating the underground water table but also polluting the air, leaving worst effects on the public health and the waste-to-energy projects provide with opportunities to use them,” Mr Qamar argued.

The Punjab Energy Department oversees the project, while the LWMC provides waste for power generation.

According to the project brief under the Alternative & Renewable Energy (ARE) Policy, 2019, the custodian for any waste-to-energy project in Punjab is the Punjab Power Development Board (PPDB); the Federal ARE Policy allows the processing of new technologies. In this regard, the LWMC issued a letter of facilitation to the PPDB on August 28, 2020, for assurance of 3,000 tons/day of municipal solid waste (MSW) for any waste-to-energy project.

The company has allocated 25 acres at the Lakhodair landfill for the waste to the energy plant. To facilitate future potential investors, the company is also conducting a chemical characterization study of MSW to determine the calorific value of waste, which will be available in December 2022.

An in-house physical waste characterization study is also conducted at different times every year by the company. Moreover, the first-ever waste-to-energy seminar in Pakistan was also conducted by the company in April 2021, which attracted several local and international investors.

The MD said waste-to-energy (WTE) is now considered an eco-friendly and reliable form of energy that has become the basis for many of the most successful solid waste management (SWM) systems in the world. To better manage our MSW, according to MD, the LWMC and the Punjab government are exploring all traditional and non-traditional options to produce energy, and energy waste is one of them.

Under the MoU titled “Waste Recycling and Setting Up the Waste to Energy Power Generation Plant,” signed by Innovative Techno Plus GmbH, a German company, and the LWMC through its LG&CD department, the core objective of the MoU is to formally create a working relationship between the ITP and the LWMC.

The first party (LWMC), under the MoU, shall be responsible for the secondary waste collection of up to 2,000 tonnes per day and transport it to the project site (waste disposal facility. The second party shall ensure the continuous operation of the project through waste.

Mr Qamar said Nepra must increase the tariff to make the project executed in a bid to get rid of the available waste and have 100MW power generation. “At present, every resident of Lahore, on average, is producing around half a kilogram of waste, thus littering the city. The daily waste collection has reached 6,000 metric tons or so, adding to the 24 million metric tons of legacy waste that already exists. Therefore, to get rid of all issues, including environmental and health issues, we are determined to execute this project within the shortest possible time,” the MD pledged.

Published in Dawn, November 23rd, 2022

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