Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) to Power Project

July 3rd, 2010 Posted in feed-in tariff

Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) to Power Project

This is a power point presentation with a project finance model for calculating feed-in tariff (FiT).

The FiT is a renewable energy charge paid to renewable energy (RE) developers for providing power to the grid.  It is paid for by the Transco operator who collects a renewable energy charge (REC) from all consumers of electricity in the country.  By being spread out to all consumers, the burden of a higher FiT compared to the average grid rate is shared equally by all citizens and consumers alike since they will benefit from the positive impact of RE on global warming and climate change issues.


  • •Methods of MSW Treatment
  • •Thermal Conversion
  • •Feed-in Tariff of RE Technologies
  • •Sources of Revenue
  • •All-in Project Cost
  • •Conclusions & Recommendations

Treatment of MSW

  • •Direct combustion (incineration) – not allowed by the Clean Air Act
  • •Co-firing of MSW with coal or wood wastes – also may not be allowed by the Clean Air Act
  • •Landfill methane recovery – needs again a sanitary landfill with liquid treatment and methane gas piping and spark ignition engine or diesel compression engine, leaves spent solid waste at landfill site
  • •Biomass gasification – no sorting of MSW needed, small plant footprint, minimal landfill for storage of high-density and inert residue

Thermal Conversion

  • •The technology is based on a combination of gasification, pyrolysis (absence of air), and high temperature melting
  • •No pre-sorting and pre-processing of municipal solid waste (MSW) – no need to remove plastics
  • •At the high temperature (1,600 – 1,700 deg Celsius), all known materials including cancer-causing dioxin are converted to harmless elemental components of C, H, S, O, N.
  • •The synthesis gas coming out of the molten materials at 1,700o C is cooled down to boiler temperature  to produce steam to drive a steam turbine coupled to an electric generator

Feed-in Tariff of RE Technologies (1 US$ = 47 p)

Mini-hydro (10MW, $1,926/kW, 50% CF) = 4.95 P/kWh

Biomass Direct Combustion with Cocowastes (10MW, $3,314/kW, 75% CF) = 9.37 P/kWh

Biomass Cogen with Bagasse (34MW, $3,309/kW, 75% CF) = 10.95 P/kWh

Biomass Gasification of MSW (400 mt/day of MSW, 28.5MW, $3,337/kW, 75% CF) = 7.21 PhP/kWh

Solar PV  (1.25MW, $3,130/kW, 15% CF) = 24.79 P/kWh

Wind Farm  (30MW, $2,438/kW, 25% CF) = 12.05 P/kWh

Ocean Thermal OTEC (16MW, $11,659/kW, 92.3% CF) = 18.26 P/kWh

Sources of Revenue

  • •Aside from the feed-in tariff provided by the new Renewable Energy Law, the project may collect from the local government units (LGUs) tipping fees as well as fees for specialized treatment of hazardous wastes from other industrial sources
  • •The high density residue (over 2 mt/cum) may be disposed as excellent pavement material or as shoreline reinforcement to protect coastal areas from erosion due to strong waves.

All-in Cost and Feed-in Tariff at various MSW feed capacity (email me if you need cost breakdown):


MSW Capacity Project Cost Gross Capacity Net Capacity Cost per mt/day Feed-in Tariff DCF IRR
  US$ MW gross MW net US$/kW gross PhP/kWh % p.a.
400 mt/day $95,115 28.50 26.26 $3,337 7.2149 15.0%
300 mt/day $71,919 21.38 19.70 $3,365 8.0688 15.0%
200 mt/day $48,816 14.25 13.13 $3,426 10.1606 15.0%
100 mt/day $26,048 7.13 6.57 $3,656 19.2627 15.0%


Conclusions & Recommendations

  • •At capacities between 200-400 mt/day of MSW, the feed-in tariff rate is 7.21-10.16 PhP/kWh which is acceptable when compared to the other renewable energy sources
  • •The feed-in tariff may in fact be lowered if tipping fees from LGUs and hazardous waste treatment from other industrial plants as well as sales of the high-density residue is included.
  • •It solves the garbage problem and disposal of hazardous wastes in an economical and environmentally benign manner.
  • •At the end of project life, there is no mound of garbage as in the case of landfill methane gas recovery.
  • •There is no need of sanitary landfill to dispose of MSW.

Prepared by:

Marcial T. Ocampo

Energy Technology Selection and Business Development Consultant

11 Responses to “Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) to Power Project”

  1. Biofuel ebook Says:

    biomass,biodiesel, and biofuel are future energy.

  2. admin Says:

    Yes, I agree with you that biomass and biofuels (biodiesel CME and bioethanol) are future energy for both electricity and sources of liquid fuels for transport (diesel and gasoline).



  3. Bobbie Ihrke Says:

    Your blog had all the impressive facts I was looking for. Very enlightening. Any special product you recommend?

  4. admin Says:

    Hi Bobbie, The only products I sell is energy data (oil, pricing, power, tariff) and financial modeling. I also do project finance (funding of power projects), and feasibility studies of power plants (market, technical, environmental, economic and financial). Hope you could find people interested in my work. I also write energy policy papers. Cheers. Marcial

  5. hao duc vuong Says:

    looking for 6000 t/d MSW to engergy technology.
    Please advice of your services and CV and expericance. ALso look for finance . South east asia project

    hao duc vuong
    home; 714 840 -6150

  6. admin Says:

    Hi, Indeed it is difficult to find sites for sanitary landfill. The next best option is MSW to power project that converts the MSW into synthetic gas for use as fuel in boiler of gas turbine to drive steam turbine or generator to product power, with less than 10% high density residue that is good construction material and sea wall barrier. I have project finance model and technology provider to assist you, together with financing. Please email me at

  7. Vivek VM Says:

    Hello, I’m building a financial model to calculate FiT rates for a waste-to-energy plant based on advanced pyrolysis in Manila. I had one quick question for you – why is the IRR of 15% chosen for your project? Is this in some way constrained by a government regulation?

    My promoters are keen to extract better returns from the project even considering revenues from tipping fees, sale of by-products and carbon credits.

    Many thanks.

  8. nemokama muzika Says:

    fantastic post.Never knew this, regards for letting me know.

  9. upendra Says:

    In commercial points I have little bit confused about Total Project Cost,Gross capacity and Net Capacity.
    Generally in gassification plant the plant load will be more than 30%,so its not cleared from your data.
    Kindly clarify the project cost.

  10. vps cheap Says:


    I came across this useful and interesting blog while doing an online search to come up with the relevant information that I was looking for to help me to complete my school intern research project….

  11. Says:

    We’re a bunch of volunteers and opening a new scheme in our community.
    Your site provided us with helpful information to work on.
    You have performed an impressive task and our entire neighborhood can be thankful to you.

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