Internal problems in the concession company in charge of the Ladang Tanah Merah waste-to-energy (WTE) incinerator plant have delayed its completion date. - NSTP/IQMAL HAQIM ROSMAN

SEREMBAN: Internal problems in the concession company in charge of the Ladang Tanah Merah waste-to-energy (WTE) incinerator plant have delayed its completion date.

State Housing, Local Government and New Village Committee chairman Teo Kok Seong confirmed this to the New Straits Times as the project faced its third delay in two years.

“The new deadline is in December. The testing and commissioning sessions will be carried out in January and they will last three months. If they are successful, the plant will start operating.

“The concession company will bear the cost of the delay. The government will not pay for the operating cost until the facility is fully operational.

“At the moment, the government only pays tipping fees of RM33 per tonne for waste disposal.”

He said although the plant was behind schedule, solid waste collected could still be disposed of in the existing cells used for inert waste.

Inert waste — substances that are not chemically reactive — must be sent to a landfill.

“Two cells for domestic waste have been allocated at the Ladang Tanah Merah landfill, with one of the cells expected to be fully utilised by December.

“Another cell has been prepared for domestic waste after the first cell is full. The landfill also has two cells for inert waste.

“If the incinerator’s completion is delayed, the cell can be used up to four years.

“Based on our August 2019 data, the total amount of waste generated in Negri Sembilan was 22,955.68 tonnes per month or 740.50 tonnes per day.

“Last year, the state recorded total waste disposal amounting to 273,637.30 tonnes per year, which is equal to 745 tonnes per day.”

Teo said the WTE project would help ensure that solid waste sent to the landfill could be treated before it was disposed of at the landfill.

“This will benefit the government as it will help reduce the cost in land acquisition for landfills.”