Two waste-to-energy plants to get off the ground today

Thursday, 10 August 2017 00:18 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

  • Total investment up to $ 284 million including for a third plant which is to be opened at the end of the month
  • Will add 30 MW to the grid once commissioned
  • Waste generated from Colombo and Gampaha to be processed at three plants

 The first waste-to-energy initiative in Sri Lanka, amounting to a total investment of $ 193 million, will commence today as two public-private partnership (PPP) projects in Muthurajawela.

The two plants to be set up in Muthurajawela will add 20 MW worth of electricity to the national grid once commissioned, converting waste generated in Colombo and Gampaha into energy with the third project, with an investment of $ 91 million, slated to begin later this month.

 All three plants are to be completed within a two-year period.

The project by the Western Power Company, through a fully-owned subsidiary of Aitken Spence Plc, is to construct an incineration plant with the capacity to process 700 MT of waste generated from the Colombo Municipal Council daily and will be initiated today. The project, with a total investment of $ 98 million as a PPP, will add 10 MW to the national grid with the CMC supplying the plant with fresh unsorted waste.

The project was initially proposed in 2009 to be set up at the Meethotamulla landfill but never got off the ground until it was relocated to its current site.

“The project’s scope is the same but we have given 10 acres of land from Muthurajawela to set up the plant,” Urban Development Authority (UDA) Project Management Director Prasad Ranaweera told Daily FT.

Korean company K.C.H.T Jang is investing $ 95 million to set up the second plant in Muthurajawela to process up to 630 MT of unsorted waste generated from the suburbs of the Colombo and Gampaha districts. This plant will also add another 10 MW to the grid.

The UDA called for bids for waste processing in Colombo and Gampaha earlier this year and received 121 bids including 19 from international bidders. However, the UDA received only seven comprehensive proposals for waste processing plants with three proposals for Colombo and another four for Gampaha. The K. C. H. T. Jang plant is one such proposal, Ranaweera said.  

Another PPP agreement has been signed with Fairway Holdings for a waste treatment plant in Karadiyana, where 500 MT of waste will be processed into energy. The project is set to kick off later this month. The project, with a total investment of $ 91 million, will also add 10 MW of electricity to the national grid.

The Government will buy power generated from the plants at a tariff of Rs. 37.10 per unit. The Cabinet increased the tariff in February this year from the earlier rate of Rs. 23.10 per unit.

The bottom ash generated from the incineration plants will be usable for different purposes such as road construction, Ranaweera said. The unusable residue, known as fly ash, amounting to about 2% of the residue, will be disposed of at locations already identified after proper treatment, he revealed.  

The UDA, which facilitated the selection process for the project, will also supervise the projects up to the commercial operation stage. Coordination of the projects will then be the responsibility of the provincial authorities.

“The Waste Management Authority (WMA) of the Western Province and Western Provincial Council will be responsible for it then onwards. WMA is an equity partner in the agreements so they will have to take over; the UDA is only facilitating the process,” Ranaweera said.