Bangladesh, a net importer of natural resources and one of the most climate-vulnerable countries, is looking forward to operating waste-to-energy plants for increasing its share of renewables in the energy mix, alongside solar energy and wind mills.
Bangladesh gets its electricity from renewable sources to the tune of about 776.43 MW, of which 542.44MW is solar power. Hydropower, with a 230 MW power-generation capacity, comes in second and waste to energy was far from expectations till 2022. The amount of garbage generated in Bangladesh is rising; it is now estimated to be 22.4 million tonnes annually or 150 kg/cap/year and is expected to rise to 220 kg/cap/year in 2025 per day by 2025. Large cities like Dhaka have a 37% overall garbage collection rate, which suggests that a sizable amount of waste is improperly collected.The ecosystem in Bangladesh is negatively impacted by landfills, as seen by the soil and groundwater contamination and health risks to nearby communities.
In addition, Bangladesh’s energy mix should be diversified. The nation has historically depended on natural gas to generate energy, but as its natural gas supplies are being depleted, the government is turning more and more to imported fuels. This has led to issues with fuel shortages, rising power generation costs, and overcapacity. The government has established new goals for the production of renewable energy in order to solve these problems; the aims are 15% by 2030, 40% by 2041, and 100% by 2050. Adding energy from waste would create an alternative source of sustainable energy which will enable Bangladesh to deal with the ongoing energy crisis. Bangladesh has used Waste to Energy project initiatives to generate energy to support sustainable development, and establish a circular economy.
Goal of Renewable Energy Use
% of total energy
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Aminbazar Waste To Energy Power Plant
Bangladesh plans to build its first waste-to-energy plant in Dhaka’s Amin Bazar. The Bangladesh Power Development Board would buy the power produced for a maximum of 25 years after the project starts production in October 2025. An agreement was made between WTE Power and the Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) for the purchase of energy generated at the plant for a 25-year period at a cost of Tk 18.29 per unit. Around $300 million will be spent building the factory, with the China Machinery Engineering Corporation (CMEC) contributing to the endeavour.
An estimated 42.5 MW of power will be produced daily by the Aminbazar Power Plant. The government gives the CMEC in the Aminbazar region 30 acres of land. According to the terms of the contract, the project will be carried out within 24 months of the necessary financial closure date, which is anticipated to occur within nine months of the project’s beginning. The land in Amin Bazar was already purchased by the government for Tk 3.36 billion. The deal with the Chinese company requires them to provide 3,000 tonnes of rubbish daily from Dhaka. In case, the nation fails to do so they have to pay a fee of $3,000. If the firm doesn’t meet the pre-established power output, they will also be fined the same amount.
The government would pay about Tk 21 for the power produced from Waste. The rest of the amount will be subsidised by the government. The waste-to-energy facility will employ 3,000 tonnes of mixed rubbish per day as its raw material, and the power it produces will be more affordable than that which comes from burning diesel. By managing garbage disposal and producing power from waste material, the Aminbazar project is anticipated to support Bangladesh’s sustainable development.
Narayanganj Waste To Energy Power Plant
In September 2022, the Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB), the Narayanganj City Corporation (NCC), and the Chinese company U&D inked a deal to build the nation’s second waste-based power plant in Narayanganj.
Already in Narayanganj, a 6 MW waste-to-energy generating plant is scheduled for construction. The Narayanganj City Corporation will supply 600 metric tonnes of municipal garbage for the project, which is projected to produce power. Under the terms of a 25-year power purchase agreement, the plant’s electricity will be sold to the Bangladesh Power Development Board. BPDB will buy for more than 25 years at a rate of US 20.91 cents, or around Tk 20 per unit.
In addition to improving the city’s cleanliness and livability, the initiative will likely reduce garbage disposal and increase waste energy production. As of right now, the project is in the planning phase, and building should start shortly. The government of Bangladesh intends to establish more waste-to-energy facilities in other regions of the nation, with the Narayanganj facility being the second of its kind.
Kaultia Waste To Energy Power Plant
The Kaultia project is anticipated to be constructed in a single phase and is presently in the permitting stage. Production on the project is anticipated to start in 2026, and Bangladesh Power Development Board will acquire the electricity produced by it for a 25-year period under the terms of the power purchase agreement.
In Dhaka, Bangladesh, a 42.5 MW biopower plant called the Kaultia Waste To Energy Power Plant is planned. Under the terms of a power purchase agreement, Bangladesh Power Development Board will buy the electricity produced by the project. For a duration of 25 years, the electricity will be sold at a rate of $0.215/kWh. The project will be powered by feedstock made from municipal solid trash. The initiative aims to solve trash management and produce power from waste material, which will aid in Bangladesh’s sustainable development. As part of the government’s endeavours to turn garbage into power, the Kaultia Garbage To Energy Power Plant is anticipated to enhance the nation’s energy sustainability and security.
By turning non-hazardous and non-recyclable garbage into renewable energy, WTE lessens the amount of waste that ends up in landfills and the environmental damage that comes with disposing of waste.
Through the conversion of waste into energy, WTE operations help reduce greenhouse gas emissions by limiting the release of methane and other greenhouse gases into the environment. Additionally, keeping garbage out of landfills, WTE facilities help to mitigate climate change by lowering the production of methane, one of the strongest greenhouse gases.
The waste management and energy industries benefit from the job possibilities created by the development, operation, and maintenance of WTE plants. The development of fresh, creative approaches to resource recovery and waste management is encouraged by WTE technology.
Substantially lowering waste pollution and managing hazardous emissions, the project may help the local community’s public health. Reduced exposure to air pollution, which can cause cardiovascular and respiratory disorders, is one example of this.
In order to reduce the need for fresh raw material extraction and to promote a more circular economy, WTE techniques recover metals and minerals from garbage.
As the circular economy develops, WTE facilities provide safe and reasonably priced energy supply options that lessen dependency on fossil fuels and increase energy security.
Through encouraging responsible use and the preservation of natural resources, the initiative is in line with sustainable development principles. It provides an advantageous approach to energy production and waste management.
By reducing reliance on imported fossil fuels, Bangladesh will be able to diversify its energy sources and increase energy security. Enhanced energy security has the potential to bolster the nation’s overall economic expansion and advancement.
About the Author
A R Tahseen Jahan is a Research Associate at The Confluence and a student of Development Studies at the University of Dhaka. She is also serving as an Editor at Dhaka University Law and Politics Review.