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Chinese waste-to-energy facility in Ethiopia benefits local people

(People's Daily Online)    15:09, November 22, 2019


A waste-to-energy facility in Ethiopia's Addis Ababa, which was constructed by a Chinese company, is creating economic and social benefits for the local community, making green development possible and promoting green technology on the African continent.

The plant is located in southwest Addis Ababa, a place that used to be deeply troubled by a 30-meter-high "garbage mountain." Two years ago, a collapse in the garbage heap claimed over 14 lives.

Thanks to the construction of the waste-to-energy facility, things have changed.

The Ethiopian government invested $100 million into the plant, which manifests the determination of the country to fight against garbage pollution – a problem that has existed throughout the last 20 years of rapid urbanization.

Constructed by the China National Electric Engineering Company (CNEEC), the project commenced in Sept. 2014 and started operation three years later.

It can process 1,800 tons of waste daily, far exceeding the 1,280-ton target set by the Chinese company originally. Given that a ton of garbage generates 400 kilowatt-hours of electricity, the facility can produce 185 million kilowatt-hours of electricity every year, which can light up the houses of one-third of families living in the city.

"Garbage and sewage were everywhere around this place before the facility was constructed, but now the environment has been greatly improved," said a resident named Lydia.

According to Zhang Sheng, vice general manager and senior engineer of CNEEC's Engineering Department No. 3, the company has followed the emission and discharge codes strictly during the operation of the facility, to ensure that relevant indexes comply with standards and the plant does not cause any environmental issues.

"About 400 to 500 local employees work in the plant, and we are offering high salaries due to the harsh working conditions," Zhang introduced, adding that the company also provides sufficient labor protection supplies ranging from masks to respirators.

"We see hope from this plant, and I love working here. My hard work has changed the lives of my parents and sister, and they will visit me soon," said a translator working in the plant, adding that she now has a happy life.

"Major management personnel will be sent to China for training and field trips to learn from equipment manufacturers. They will also visit garbage-based power plants in China. I believe it will foster a large number of talents in garbage-based power generation and lay a solid foundation for Ethiopia's independent development," Zhang noted.

Local media hailed the Chinese-built factory, saying it has set an example of green development in Africa. As a result, the project has aroused interests of government officials in Egypt, Ghana, Kenya Madagascar, Ivory Coast, Nigeria and other African countries, who have all expressed their intention to cooperate with Chinese enterprises.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Zhao Tong, Bianji)

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