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LAHORE: To manage the waste in an environment-friendly manner, the Lahore Waste Management Company (LWMC) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with a German company, Innovative Techno Plus GmbH, to start work on the proposed 100 megawatt waste-to-energy project under the public-private partnership.

As per the MoU, the LWMC will provide a minimum of 2,000 tonnes of solid waste to the company for power generation daily. The project would not only consume 24 million tonnes of legacy waste dumped at the Lakhodair and Mehmood Booti dump site but also the 5,000 to 7,000 tonnes of fresh waste that was being collected daily and added to the legacy waste. The Punjab Energy department will oversee the project, while the LWMC will provide waste for power generation.

According to the project brief under the Alternative and Renewable Energy (ARE) Policy 2019, the custodian for any waste-to-energy project in Punjab was 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 tonnes per 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 was also conducting a chemical characterisation study of MSW to determine the calorific value of waste, which will be available in December 2022.

An in-house physical waste characterisation study was 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.

Commenting on the project, LWMC CEO Ali Anan Qamar said that waste-to-energy was 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, the LWMC and the Punjab government were exploring all traditional and non-traditional options to produce energy, and energy waste was one of them,” he added.

According to him, Nepra must increase the tariff to make the project executed in a bid to get rid of the available waste and have 100 megawatts of power generation. At present, every resident of Lahore, on average, was producing around half a kilogram of waste, thus littering the city.

The daily waste collection has reached 6,000 metric tonnes or so, adding to the 24 million metric tonnes of legacy waste that already exists. Therefore, to get rid of all issues, including environmental and health issues, they were determined to execute this project within the shortest possible time.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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