The Asian Development Bank (ADB) on Thursday agreed to provide up to 200 million U.S. dollars in loans to help build up waste-to-energy plants in China's middle and small cities to clean up urban garbage.
The ADB said its loans will be provided to China Everbright International Limited, a Hong Kong-listed private firm, to develop and invest in plants using an advanced clean technology that, unlike most other waste-to-energy technologies, does not use coal supplements.
It is the ADB's first private-sector municipal solid waste management project, the regional development lender said.
The ADB said effective disposal of municipal solid waste is a serious environmental challenge in China, which generates around 148 million tons of it every year and growing at around 10 percent annually.
"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 ADB Investment Specialist Hisaka Kimura, adding "furthermore, waste-to-energy technologies substitute for fossil fuels by generating electricity and heat in the incineration process."
China has set a long-term target to increase the amount of municipal waste that is used in waste-to-energy generation from one percent in 2002 to 30 percent by 2030.