Korean firm finds power prospect in Valley’s waste

Kathmandu, March 24:

A visiting Korean team is keen to generate electricity from the municipal solid waste in Kathmandu. A pre-feasibility study carried out by Shinu — a city planning and renewable energy consulting group of Korea, revealed that approximately 1.6 to 2 MW of power can be generated daily from 900 to 1,150 tonnes of organic waste and 11.2 to 20 MW from 250 to 300 tonnes of flammable non-organic waste generated daily in Kathmandu.

A three-member team of Shinu today visited Sisdole Landfill site, where 400 tonnes of solid waste from Kathmandu and Lalitpur are dumped every day, to check the quality of the waste. Wang Jae Lee, chief executive officer of Shinu, said organic waste, non-organic waste and recyclable materials must be segregated at the household level so as to generate power from the waste.

Lee said that the way garbage is collected in Kathmandu here would not meet their target of electricity generation. The organic waste, if properly segregated from non-organic, can generate both compost and electricity. Similarly, non-organic waste can be used for electricity generation before dumping it in the landfill site. The team said continued training, awareness and incentives to the citizens and other stakeholder would be effective in managing the waste.

Lee also said that 3 MW of energy is generated from 20 tonnes of non-organic waste and 200 MW in Seoul alone. However, the procedures and practice of Seoul cannot be replicated here, he added. The team plans meetings with government officials, stakeholders and experts on the issue, according to Sangwon Sung, director, Shinu.

According to the pre-feasibility study, it would take two years to construct a plant and 1,250 to 1,500 tonnes of solid waste per day to generate 10 MW electricity. The execution of such a plant would not only segregate, recycle and compost solid waste but would also adjust existing sweeper resources as well as provide employment to 1,000 additional people. KMC collects 400 tonnes of garbage everyday, of which 70 per cent is organic, nine per cent plastic, nine per cent paper, one per cent rubber, and two per cent construction materials.

The report said that if the system is adopted here it would supply stable electricity to the valley, address the environmental issues caused by municipal waste and increase agriculture productivity by supplying the compost produced from organic waste.