Hong Kong-listed environmental protection project developer China Everbright International has secured a waste-to-energy venture in Guangdong worth HK$380 million. The project, based in Huidong county, is the company's first in the Pearl River Delta region, and has a daily house waste processing capacity of 600 tonnes. It is expected to begin operation in 2012. 'The Pearl River Delta region is one of the most prosperous regions in China with rising demand for environmental protection services including urban waste treatment,' said Chen Xiaoping, the chief executive of China Everbright International. The company, a unit of state-backed conglomerate China Everbright Holdings, has so far pledged 7.3 billion yuan (HK$8.3 billion) to 29 environmental protection projects that are in operation or being developed. The projects specialise in waste-based electricity generation, waste water treatment and industrial waste treatment. Guangdong is the third province that the company will operate in after Jiangsu and Shandong. China Everbright International recently received a US$200 million loan from the Asian Development Bank to push growth of waste-to-power plants in second-tier cities on the mainland, the bank's first private-sector municipal solid waste management project. BOC International analyst Peter Yao Sheng estimates the project would generate a return of 14 to 15 per cent, based on figures from the company's Jiangsu projects, against 9 to 12 per cent for sewage treatment plants. The company reported a net profit of HK$197 million for the first half of last year. Environmental energy and alternative energy projects represented 34 per cent of the company's turnover, and its environmental water businesses accounted for 66 per cent of turnover. BOC International estimates China Everbright International's full year net profit at HK$469 million, a 38 per cent increase year on year.