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Energising Waste

by Baset Asaba on Oct 1, 2017

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In May, Sharjah based environmental management company, Bee’ah, and Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy company, Masdar, announced the creation of a joint venture (JV) that will develop the GCC’s first waste-to-energy (WTE) plant.

The Sharjah Multi-Fuel Waste-to-Energy Facility will be the first in the region and will treat, within its first phase, more than 300,000 tonnes of municipal solid waste (MSW) each year and have a power capacity of around 30 megawatts (MW).

The first project by EWEC is expected to leverage the strengths of both Bee’ah and Masdar to pave the way for further waste-to-energy facilities in the UAE and the region, delivering commercial solutions to meet the challenge of solid waste disposal and the ever-growing demand for clean energy.

To set things in motion, Sharjah Electricity and Water Authority (SEWA) has signed a power purchase agreement (PPA) with EWEC, where the company will supply SEWA with the power generated from its waste-to-energy plant, the first PPA of its kind in the UAE.

This is not the first such announcement in the GCC. Neighbouring Dubai announced last year that it was setting the stage to build one of the largest waste-to-energy plants in the Middle East with the $21bn global WTE market forecast to increase by nearly 60% over the next eight years.

Dubai Municipality is building a Dh2 billion facility to convert solid waste into energy in Warsan district two in line with the emirate’s move to reduce landfill waste by 75% over the next five years.

It will take three years to bring the plant online with operations expected in the second quarter of 2020. The first phase will receive 2,000 metric tonnes of municipal solid waste per day to produce 60 megawatts of power. Dependence

In an emirate where nearly 7,800 tonnes of domestic waste is produced on an average each day, the government of Dubai is undoubtedly looking for innovative and resourceful ways to use that waste. It is believed that one of the previous attempts to start the project was cancelled because of financing issues, while the first tender was cancelled because the scope of the project was too open. One of the project plan was to build three incinerators in Al Warsan each with a capacity of 50MW with abilities to process about 6,000 t/d of domestic waste under a 20-year contract.

The global WTE market has been rapidly increasing, with the market size forecast to grow to more than $33bn by 2023 from last year’s $20.86bn, according to the American research and consultancy company Global Market Insights. The region will grab a chunk of the market, says Mhairi Main Garcia, the director of Dubai-based Clean Energy Business Council.


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