China Everbright International Ltd, a waste treatment project developer, got a $200 million-loan from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) yesterday to fund its waste-to-energy plants in the country.
The company will use the money to build power plants in second-tier cities across the Yangtze River Delta, Pearl River Delta and the Bohai Rim Region, Philip Fan, general manager of China Everbright International told a press conference yesterday.
The loans will have a maturity of up to 10 years. It is ADB's first loan to finance private-sector municipal solid waste management project, the bank said in a statement.
"Waste-to-energy processing with clean technology is the most effective method of treating municipal solid waste since it slashes waste volumes by 90 percent and eliminates methane gas emissions from the waste treatment process," said Hisaka Kimura, investment specialist in ADB's private sector operations department.
"Furthermore, waste-to-energy technologies substitute for fossil fuels by generating electricity and heat in the incineration process," said Kimura.
China has set a long-term target to increase the amount of municipal waste used in waste-to-energy generation from 1 percent in 2002 to 30 percent by 2030, said the ADB statement.
The country has become the world's largest producer of municipal solid waste, generating around 148 million tons each year at present, which is expected to grow at 8 to 10 percent annually.
Nearly half of such waste is untreated and dumped in unsuitable landfills, meaning many urban poor, especially those living near the landfills, are exposed to severe air and water pollution, as well as to the threat of infectious diseases, it said.
"Our hope is that by working together with ADB, China Everbright International will not only be able to contribute significantly to waste-to-energy development in China but to its use in other ADB member countries as well," said Fan.
ADB will also provide a technical assistance grant of up to $653,000 from its clean energy fund to evaluate the performance of the plants and communicate the lessons learned to municipal governments around China and to other ADB developing member countries to encourage wider use of clean waste-to-energy technologies.
The Hong Kong-listed China Everbright International is one of the first private-sector investors in waste-to-energy projects in China. Currently the portfolio of the company covers three areas, which are environmental protection, infrastructure construction, and property development.
The company is now involved in 30 environmental protection projects in China, with total investment of 10 billion yuan. Among them 26 projects with investment of 6.6 billion yuan have started operation or under construction.
(China Daily September 4, 2009)