After saying never, Penang now mulls incinerator for waste disposal

Jagdeep asserted that the state was now more open to incinerators due to technological progress. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin
Jagdeep asserted that the state was now more open to incinerators due to technological progress. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin

GEORGE TOWN, July 26 ― The Penang government is considering proposals to build an incinerator in the state as a waste disposal solution, Penang state exco Jagdeep Singh Deo revealed today.

This contrasted with the state’s previous stance to never allow an incinerator to be built here.

Jagdeep asserted that the state was now more open to incinerators due to technological progress.

“Previously, it was still in the early stages so we were against it but now, with advanced technology that makes it suitable for our climate, we have reviewed our stance to be open about having an incinerator in the state,” he told a press conference this morning.

He said the state will meet with nine companies that have proposed installing an incinerator in Penang.

The state official argued that modern incinerators were less damaging to the environment and could reduce the burden on landfills in the state.

Penang was eyeing a private finance initiative (PFI) arrangement to avoid having to fund the construction the incinerator that is expected to cost around RM600 million.

“This means the private company will provide the capital and they will collect tipping fees to recover their investment and costs,” he said, adding that the tipping fee being considered is 400 per cent of RM22.22 per tonne applicable for transport to landfills.

Jagdeep gave his assurance that local authorities will be consulted prior to any decision.

The exco said the move would be consistent with the federal government’s push for each state to have its own incinerator and would provide a long-term solution for the state’s waste management.

Last year, Penang generated 1.3 million tonnes of waste, most of which ended up in the landfill.

Jagdeep asserted that an incinerator would reduce this to just 10 per cent of the present volume.

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