The Local Government Division (LGD) is going for a Waste-to-Energy project in coordination with the Power Division to manage solid municipal waste (SMW) to be collected from city corporation areas of Dhaka and Chattogram.
Official sources in the LGD and Power Division said the project will be implemented in the private sector. The Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) will purchase the electricity.
There will be no tipping fee for the project sponsor while the city corporations will ensure adequate supply of waste to the project as per agreement, said the sources.
Heat generated from burning the waste will be used to produce power, officials said, adding that such project is available in China and many Asian countries.
They said the first project will be implemented in Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) area on a pilot basis.
"If it's successful, then more projects will be implemented in other areas," said Mohammad Alauddin, joint secretary (renewable energy) of the Power Division, who is also a member of the high-powered working group formed by LGD.
Officials said initiatives to generate power from SMW were taken several times in the last 20 years.
"But none of them succeeded because of a lack of coordination among government agencies, absence of policy support and cost effectiveness," said a top BPDB official working closely with renewable energy projects.
"This time we hope things will move positively as all relevant agencies, stakeholders and the Prime Minister's Office are serious about successful implementation of the project," he told UNB, declining to be named.
He mentioned that a Waste-to-Energy project, recently undertaken by PDB in Keraniganj municipal area, was cancelled because of high cost of electricity tariff – Tk40 per kilowatt hour – offered by the interested private firm.
The deficiency of solid waste was another reason for the cancellation of the project.
Official sources said the new project plan came into the forefront as the two dumping stations of DNCC and Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) at Aminbazar and Matuaile are going to be filled within two years.
The Department of Environment also raised concerns about the existing waste management system which creates environmental risks.
The LGD convened a meeting on April 25 this year and formed a seven-member working group headed by additional secretary of the ministry.
The other members of the working group are – BPDB chairman, member of Sustainable and Renewable Energy Development Authority (Sreda), chief executive officers of DNCC and DSCC, a joint secretary of Power Division and a representative of DoE.
During discussion, it found that the Prime Minister had instructed the authorities concerned during an Ecnec meeting on December 1, 2015 to introduce incineration system for waste management.
Official sources said the working group set a detailed coordinated working process to implement incineration-based Waste-to-Energy project for garbage management.
As part of the detail process, DNCC received 17 proposals from international firms. The Power Division scrutinised the proposals and initially selected four of them, said a top official.
The proposals were sent to BPDB for a final scrutiny where they will be shortlisted and asked to submit financial proposals.
A BPDB official said the working group has recommended implementing the project on unsolicited basis under the Increase of Speedy Supply of Power and Energy Act 2010 to implement it swiftly.
Four agreements will be signed with a firm once it is selected. They are – Implementation Agreement, Power Purchase Agreement (PPA), Land Lease Agreement and Waste Supply Agreement.