ISLAMABAD - The National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) has approved the grant of power generation licence to Lahore Xingzhong Renewable Energy Company Limited for setting up 40 MW municipal waste based power plant in Punjab.

The company will set up Pakistan's first waste-to-energy plant with 40-megawatt production capacity in Lakhodair, Lahore district. It will deploy a state-of-the-art incineration-type generation facility and the most suitable waste-to-energy technology, said a spokesman for the Nepra.

The project will deploy state of the art incineration type generation facility and the most suitable waste to energy technology.  It is relevant to highlight that the project will reduce 2000 tonnes/day of the city's municipal solid waste to generate electricity to address the municipality's waste and energy needs of the country.

In this regard, Nepra has already announced a Competitive Upfront Tariff of US cents 10.007/kWh for waste to energy projects based on 25 years operational period, with overall capacity cap of 250 MW wherein share of each province and Federal Territory have been kept at 50 MW each.

Successful implementation of the project will pave the way for other such initiatives to solve pressing waste disposal problems and challenges of limited space for landfills and gas emissions resulting cleaner cities and healthy life.

As per the detail five major cities of the country are producing 35000 tonnes of waste daily and if it was not properly disposed off, it is going to destroy the agriculture land, water resources and environment.

In Karachi, the daily waste production is 15000 tonnes, Lahore 10000 tonnes, Islamabad 6000 tonnes, Peshawar 3000 tonnes and Quetta 1000 tonnes.

Nepra, keeping in view the environmental issues and waste abundance, decided to initiate development of upfront tariff for generation of electricity from municipal solid waste and was finally able to announce upfront tariff.

In Pakistan, roughly more than 20 million tons of municipal solid waste is generated with annual growth rate of 2.4percent. All major cities i.e. Islamabad, Lahore, Karachi, Peshawar, Quetta etc are facing enormous challenges in tackling the problem of urban waste.

Thousands of people die every year due to waste-related diseases. Considering the environmental issues, most of the countries in the region have already announced the generation tariff for municipal waste power plants and they are getting dual benefits i.e. disposing off garbage and generation of electricity through garbage.

The Nepra initiative regarding upfront tariff for MSW power plants will not only provide electricity to the national grid but will also create employment opportunities and play vital role in economic growth of the country.