Chinese company to install 8 GW of waste-to-energy capacity

By Asian Development Bank | November 30, 2012

The Asian Development Bank and China Everbright International Ltd. have signed a loan agreement for agricultural and municipal waste-to-energy (WTE) projects in the People’s Republic of China to reduce the environmental impact of agricultural and municipal waste disposal.

“The WTE option is very attractive for the PRC since the government has set the development of a recycling economy as a national goal,” said Shuji Hashizume, investment specialist in ADB’s Private Sector Operations Department, during the signing ceremony.

The PRC aims to install agricultural waste-to-energy capacity of up to 8 gigawatts by 2015.

The project aims to treat about 7,300 tons of waste a day, generating around 1,240 gigawatt-hours of electricity a year by 2016. Greenhouse gas emissions are also expected to be slashed by about 638,000 tons per annum by 2018.

The PRC is the world’s biggest producer of agricultural waste, with around 700 million tons of crop straw produced in 2010 alone. It also generates about 200 million tons of municipal solid waste every year. Untreated disposal is increasing contamination of soil and groundwater nationwide.

Incineration is recognized as a particularly effective method for waste treatment since it reduces waste volume by 90 percent and eliminates methane emissions. WTE technologies recover the waste energy from the incineration process and use it to steadily produce electricity and heat. By replacing fossil fuel combustion and avoiding methane, WTE helps avoid greenhouse gas emissions and mitigates climate change.

The WTE projects will also provide additional income for farmers who sell agricultural waste and for small- and medium-sized enterprises responsible for waste collection and transportation.

The four loans of up to $200 million will be provided to China Everbright Biomass Energy Investment Ltd. and China Everbright Environmental Energy Ltd., units of China Everbright International Ltd., listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

China Everbright International Ltd. is currently operating municipal WTE plants supported by ADB, but limited access to finance in the agricultural WTE sector has prevented it from branching out into the agriculture sector. ADB’s assistance will allow it to expand into plants which utilize a wide variety of agricultural waste, including straw, stalks, and tree bark. It will also target more municipal WTE plants utilizing all forms of combustible household and non-hazardous commercial waste.




3 Responses

  1. Sharon Welch



    The Chinese are missing the boat with 'incineration' of agricultural wastes just as they are currently doing with municipal solid waste. Incineration only reduces the volume of material still needing to be landfilled while exhausting dioxins and furans into the air. One of the worst elements of Chinese air pollution is their current practice of burning rice straw after the annual harvest. Switching to solids gasification techniques instead is what is needed. There are low pressure, slagging gasifier designs out there which haven't yet seen the light of day because of investor control issues - gasifiers that feature long residency times which are adjusted depending upon what solids are being converted. Solids like rice straw, garbage, sewer sludge, ground tires, coal of any rank, petroleum-coke, etc. Please don't be fooled with any new sort of waste incineration technology. Dioxins and Furans first get recycled into the breast milk of mammals - both 2-legged and 4-legged varieties.

  2. Ramon Gutierrez



    This is a great project that will help China reduce air pollution and eliminate the need for landfills.

  3. Joe Wade



    I agree with Sharon. Please let me add that these giantic projects often failed to carry out a comprehensive Social Impact Assesment. The recent Indian experience must be taken into account where 70,000 Waste Pickers have lost their livehood excluded from the new Waste Managemet Model. Modern W2E gasifiers not only are more environmentally friendly, but produce Power and Heat from the organic fraction of MSW, promoting recycling while generating jobs among the local landfill population. Let's clean the environment and generate power respecting and understanding the fragil landfill socio-economic systems.


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