The Asian Development Bank is giving $200m towards kick-starting waste-to-energy projects in Chinese cities.

The money has been handed over to Dynagreen Environmental Protection Group which will use it to help small and medium-sized cities in China turn their growing mountains of solid waste into renewable energy.

China is the world’s second largest producer of solid waste, generating more than 220 million tonnes a year. Although the per capita production of solid waste in China is only about 20 per cent of the average in industrialised nations, it is expected to grow considerably in small and medium-sized cities where huge population growth is expected by 2030.

The bank’s loan will help build at least nine plants capable of converting up to 6300 tonnes of municipal solid waste daily into electricity. The plants are expected to generate around 610 GW hours of electricity a year by 2018.

Hisaka Kimura, principal investment specialist of the bank’s private sector operations department, said the loan was focused on small-to-medium sized cities because “unlike large cities which are implementing waste-to-energy projects through public-private partnerships, smaller municipal governments have difficulty attracting private sector interest, which results in large amounts of untreated waste, leading to harmful gas emissions and soil and groundwater contamination”.

Dynagreen is the environmental infrastructure arm of Beijing State-Owned Assets Management Company and will develop and operate the facilities under public-private partnership arrangements.