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Dubai incinerator plans on back-burner

Energy-to-waste project delayed due to financial difficulties.

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The economic crisis has forced goverment to reconsider the project's financing.
The economic crisis has forced goverment to reconsider the project's financing.

Construction of a giant waste-to-energy incinerator in Dubai has been delayed for as long as “four to five years” due to finance issues, a government official revealed to The National newspaper.

The incinerator, which was meant to open in 2012 to help dispose of the 10,000 tonnes of waste produced every day in the emirate, is part of Dubai Municipality’s wider project to minimise climate change.

Leader of the city’s waste management department Hassan Mohammed Makki told reporters that the economic crisis had forced the government to reconsider how to finance the project, so the incinerator may not be operational before “four to five years”.

This is despite the fact that 13 companies have already pre-qualified for the project.
Currently, the government is considering a number of alternative funding models, including a public-private partnership, which it hopes to have decided on before it announces who will be the main contractor.

At this week’s Waste Summit 2010 in Dubai, Mr Makki told the paper: “By the end of the year we should have a strategic approach. Given all the financial turmoil, we will know better what kind of financing we want.”

At the moment Dubai’s waste is sent to landfill, and the emirate recycles just 15% of it.

But Mr Makki assured the public that the city was promoting recycling, one of its most recent initiatives including the installation of 2,000 new recycling containers at bus stations.

“We must still boost the rate of public involvement and close the loop in recycling, for example by boosting our infrastructure capability and regulation,” he told the daily, adding that Dubai would eventually follow a “sound technological approach that turns waste into energy”.

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