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Dubai cancels waste-to-energy plans, will Indian cities learn?

Written By Krishna on Tuesday, June 12, 2012 | 10:23 AM

Note:Indian cities like Delhi and Chennai should learn from Dubai Municipality which has permanently cancelled waste to energy projects. Unlike Dubai, the municipalities in Indian cities are still toying with the idea despite consistent failure since 1986. The obstinacy of Union Ministry of New and Renewable Energy merits severe crticism which has chosen not to learn from the failures in Delhi's Timarpur and in Andhra Pradesh's Elikatta village. A Fact Finding team visited the plant site of SELCO International Ltd’s Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF) incineration technology based waste to energy project at Elikatta Village, Shadnagar Mandal, Mahboobnagar district and found the plant to be locked.

Curiously, this plant was cited as a successful example by Najmi Waziri, Delhi Government's counsel on 18th July, 2011 in the Delhi High Court in front of Chief Justice Bench to defend Delhi’s Okhla Waste to Energy plant of M/s Jindal Urban Infrastructure Limited (JUIL), a company of M/s Jindal Saw Group Limited owned by Prithviraj Jindal part of O P Jindal Group. In the Writ Petition (Civil) No. 9901 of 2009 in Delhi High Court is dealing with the case of environmental lawlessness in the national capital. This Jindal plant is using an untested and unapproved Chinese technology with impunity in a residential, educational and hospital area and filled the entire locality with toxic smoke. The plant is an invitation to public health disaster but the complicity or passivity of all the pillars of Indian democracy have failed to come to the rescue of this section of Delhi's population which is getting poisoned through air, water and food chain.

The indulgence shown by both Congress led Delhi government and BJP led Municipal Corporation towards this hazardous Jindal plant is unpardonable given the fact that the report of the committee headed by Chairman has condemned the non-cooperation of the company and have found that there is the plant does not have any industrial disaster management plan.

Residents of Delhi are not as fortunate as those of Dubai. It is hoped that Chennai will follow latter example and abandon former's path in public interest.

Gopal Krishna
ToxicsWatch Alliance (TWA)

Dubai cancels waste-to-energy plans

Waste-to-energy project was tendered three times before being cancelled

Dubai Municipality has cancelled plans to tender a waste-to-energy facility in the emirate. The project has evolved considerably since it was first launched several years ago and several attempts to tender the project have failed.

The municipality unveiled plans to tender the project as a 2,000-3,000 tonne-a-day (t/d) scheme for a third time in February this year. The director of Dubai Municipality’s Waste Management Department, Abdulmajeed Abdulaziz Saifaie, says the project has been permanently cancelled.

The previous attempt was cancelled because of financing issues associated with the $2bn project. The 6,000 t/d facility was to be built on a build-operate-transfer (BOT) basis. Bids were submitted for the second time in November 2011. Two companies submitted bids and Japan’s Hitachi Lenovo was tipped as the favourite for the contract.

The company submitted a proposal for the project, which would see three incinerators constructed at Al-Warsan in Dubai, each with a capacity of 50MW. The waste-to-energy facilities were to process about 6,000 t/d of domestic waste under a 20-year contract.

Hitachi Lenovo proposed a price of 26 fils a kilowatt hour (kWh) for the power produced by the projects in addition to a gate fee for the amount of waste disposed. According to sources close to the deal, the municipality was keen to accept the power price, but would not agree to a gate fee.

The first tender for the project was cancelled because the scope of the project was too open. Bidders were allowed to submit proposals for waste incineration and/or collection and the submissions were to be judged against a complex bid evaluation matrix.

France’s Cabinet Merlin was advising the municipality on the project. According to Saifaie, Dubai is completing its waste management masterplan for the emirate until 2030.


A Shanghai solution to Chennai's garbage disposal problem

Corporation team to study China’s waste management methods

The solution to the city's garbage problem may come all the way from Shanghai with a team of Chennai Corporation officials visiting China this week.

The nine-day mission to hunt for suitable technology will cover visit to solid waste management facilities of cities in China with focus on technology adopted in Shanghai. The Chennai Corporation is likely to collect data on waste management in Shanghai in its pursuit of waste-to-energy facilities.

Announcing that the Chennai Corporation team led by the Corporation Commissioner D. Karthikeyan will visit China, Mayor Saidai S.Duraisamy said the team will study the technological options available for solid waste management in China.

The data likely to be collected by the team from the facilities such as incinerators in Shanghai for converting waste to energy will help them assess its environmental impact in a populous city that generates over 10,000 tonnes of garbage per day. As Chennai is likely to emerge as a city generating over 10,000 tonnes in a few years, the visit will also help the civic body learn lessons pertaining to mistakes committed by such populous cities in solid waste management.

The team will also visit Hong Kong and Singapore to study sustainable practices in waste management.

Corporation Commissioner D.Karthikeyan said the team will focus on studying the process of remediation of many dump yards in China. Tonnes of garbage dumped in sites are being used to produce energy. “We will try to find a solution to garbage dumping in Perungudi and Kodungaiyur,” he said.

Meanwhile a private consultant under the supervision of the Tamil Nadu Urban Infrastructure Financial Services Ltd is in the process of identifying the right company among those that had expressed interest in supplying suitable technology to the Corporation for its massive solid waste management initiative. The initiative includes remediation and scientific closure of the Perungudi and Kodungaiyur dumpyards. The request for proposal will be made after suitable company is selected based on the feedback given by the team that visits China

The district administration of Kancheepuram and Tiruvallur have recommended new plots of land for the solid waste management facilities. The civic body now generates over 4,600 tonnes of municipal solid waste on a daily basis.

Aloysius Xavier Lopez
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