European companies invest in waste to energy projects in Southeast Asia

Jakarta – Indonesia has become one of the investment destinations for a number of European companies in waste-to-energy (WtE) processing, reports said. At the simplest level, investments are made in the development of waste power plants, processing waste that cannot be recycled into electrical energy. European and Japanese companies have long dominated the WtE industry., a clean energy news website, recently estimated that there are more than 100 waste-to-energy projects completed or ongoing in the Philippines, Indonesia and Thailand. One of them, Allied Project Services, a UK-based company, has a project supported by the Danish government to build a waste-to-energy processing plant in Semarang. The project in Chonburi, Thailand, is supported by French companies ENGIE and Suez Environment.

Netherlands-based Harvest Waste, formerly Amsterdam Waste Environmental Consultancy and Technology, last year began conducting preliminary studies for a waste-to-energy project in Vietnam’s Soc Trang province, Mekong Delta, with an estimated cost of USD 100 million.

In 2021, Harvest Waste also gains initial submitter status for a proposal to build a facility in Cebu in the Philippines, which will be the most advanced WtE plant in Asia. The facility will use the same technology as the landmark facility in Amsterdam, which can generate 900 kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity from every tonne of waste, according to company documents.

Luuk Rietvelt, head of the Asia-Pacific region at Harvest Waste, told Deutsche Welle that the Southeast Asian market is growing due to funding from major development banks and several governments in the region offering incentives, including feed-in tariffs, to spur investment.

In Europe, around 500 WtE plants are currently operating, according to the European Confederation of Waste-to-Energy Manufacturers. But European technology providers are now looking to new markets because of increasing demand elsewhere and declining opportunities at home, said Janek Vahk, coordinator of the climate, energy and air pollution program at the non-profit Zero Waste Europe. (Hartatik)

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