Waste-To-Energy Plant Will Put Haiti Trash To Use

Ever since a devastating earthquake hit Haiti in 2010, the country has suffered from a severe sanitation crisis. Especially in the city of Port au Prince where the one garage dump is literally overflowing with waste, and the street are littered with trash. But a new partnership between the government of Haiti and Pittsburgh-based International Electric Power (IEP) is set to help Haiti in its cleanup efforts.

Project Phoenix is a public-private agreement between the parties to build a power-generating facility that aims to remove waste from the streets of Port au Prince while decreasing the country’s dependence on foreign fuel. The project is anticipated to create nearly 1,800 jobs for skilled workers and provide 30 megawatts (MW) of green, base-load electric power fueled by municipal solid waste. The new integrated waste management and power plant will be located on 400 acres of land about 10 miles north of the city.

Haiti wate to energy plant

image via Shutterstock

Municipal waste will be collected by IEP Waste Management in collaboration with Ros Roca of Spain, Europe’s largest supplier of waste management equipment, and Boucard Waste Management, which has been collecting waste in Port au Prince for more than 20 years.

IEP said the new waste management system will use specially designed collection vehicles and segregation equipment developed to collect and process more than 3,000 tons of municipal waste daily throughout the seven municipalities of Port au Prince. Project Phoenix will work in conjunction with Haiti’s government collection service, Service Metropolitain de Collecte des Residus Solides (SMCRS) as well as private waste collectors.

The Project Phoenix waste-to-energy plant will be capable of producing 720 megawatt-hours of sustainable electricity per day (that’s running around the clock at 30 MW), enough power for more than 75,000 Haitian households, IEP said. The company touted numerous environmental, social and economic benefits for the country, not the least of which will be an estimated total of close to 10,000 jobs overall.

Project Phoenix will seek to eliminate open, low temperature burning of waste and the clogging of canals by years of uncollected plastics, improving water and air quality as well as the health of Haitian citizens. By burning waste in a controlled, high-temperature environment, the project will eliminate the current slow, low temperature incineration of waste in the streets, ridding Port au Prince of dioxins and other airborne toxins. The new waste collection system is planning to start in the fourth quarter of this year.

Project Phoenix requires a U.S. investment of approximately $250 million. IEP has assembled an international team of companies to complete the project. Over its anticipated 30 years of operation, the new plant is projected to save the government of Haiti more than $4 billion dollars.


  • Reply May 15, 2012


    Ever since a devastating hurricane hit Haiti in 2010It was an earthquake

    • Reply May 16, 2012


      Ack, of course you are correct, Lemonlemons. We’ve fixed the story, thank you for the note and apologize for the blunder.
      Pete Danko
      Managing Editor, EarthTechling

  • Reply May 15, 2012


    sound good on paper, what are the strings attached?

  • Reply May 15, 2012


    This smells like BS, pardon my French. In a country where an ENERGY CRISIS has kept it in the 17th century, what Haiti needs is to put that investment in conventional power plants that produces a consistent, stable energy source that can power a 21st century economy. It may sound good on paper… if Haiti was a superpower with an already reliable energy source, but it’s not! These projects should be kept for developed countries. I’m willing to bet that even 99% of individuals who accesses the internet in highly developed countries are powering up their devices from outlets that connects to a conventional fossil fuel power plant. With a quarter billion dollars to spend on energy, it should be put to use building and maintaing new and current power plants and hydroelectric dams. Most people seem to be oblivious to how truly desperate Haiti is in need of ENERGY and how much of a needed resource it is. Just imagine a day without it, and what that would do to our economy? Bottom line, that money could be put to better use and potentially leap the Haitian economy forward to the current 21st century.

    • Reply May 16, 2012


      Patjlouis, I’ve heard some strong environmental arguments against waste-to-energy, but what about it isn’t “consistent” or “stable”? 

  • Reply May 21, 2012

    J. Blevins

    There are great comments in the string below but very far from “BS”. In reference to the “…investment to conventional power plants…”, what domestic fuel source is the country of Haiti able to utilize? Coal, LNG (liquefied natural gas) and/or CNG (compressed natural gas) 
    would all need to be imported thus, adding to the production cost and ultimately the affordability of power.  Within Haiti’s current power infrastructure, utility grid kW/h is in excess US$0.30. Diesel generators, as a sole source of power, increases the average kW/h retail pricing to US$0.50+. Emissions for both traditional and non-traditional [diesel generators] power generation are extremely high in NOx, SOx and CO2.

    While not in favor of the use of traditional incendiary methodologies of waste to energy; as the emissions are as poor or worse in comparison to 20th century traditional coal/diesel fuel power generation.  Waste to energy will “leap” Haiti into the 21st century, utilizing new engineering practices that are affordable and environmentally friendly to power production.  

    Currently, NYC has laid the gauntlet down for such a task.  Our group addresses this in a waste to energy solution that does not burn trash in order to produce power.  We recycle all trash than is able to be recycled and the remainder (typically what would go to a land-fill) is used in a dehydration process that in-turn is used in a gasification process to fuel power producing turbines and/or engines.  This allows for emissions that are comparable to natural gas (CH4), the cleanest of fossil fuels and eliminating the carbon footprint of land-fill waste.

    Waste to energy is the future to environmentally friendly affordable power generation.  Waste needs to be addressed as island nations must be able to afford to ship its waste off island to promote the growth of usable real-estate, keep water supplies free of contamination, etc.The island of Manhattan has realized that the 21st century has a need to improve its power generation and is moving forward, not backwards.

    To address the consistent and stable power, well, as mankind will strive to waste less, mankind will always have waste.  When we make this waste into a clean affordable fuel supply for power production, everyone wins…for the 21st century and beyond.


  • Reply March 18, 2013

    Mardoche C

    This is great lets us continue to improve the world and help the beautiful nation of Haiti!

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