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The Sharjah waste-to-energy plant can produce 30 MW of low-carbon electricity to power 28,000 homes in Sharjah. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Construction of the UAE’s first waste-to-energy plant is complete, with the project now entering the testing and commissioning phase. The Sharjah Waste-to-Energy plant is the first under Emirates Waste-to-Energy, a joint venture from Beeah Energy and Abu Dhabi’s Masdar, the renewable energy company.

Once and operational, the plant will enable Sharjah to become the Middle East’s ‘first zero-waste city’, turning unrecyclable waste into clean energy and increasing the current landfill diversion rate from 76 per cent to 100 per cent. It will help reduce waste sent to landfill across the UAE, while contributing to the nation’s clean energy resources. At full operational capacity, the Sharjah plant will help divert up to 300,000 tonnes of unrecyclable waste away from landfill each year while producing 30 MW of low-carbon electricity, enough to power 28,000 homes in Sharjah.

The 30 MW plant will displace almost 450,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions a year and preserve the equivalent of 45 million cubic metres of natural gas.

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Khaled Al Huraimel, Group CEO of Beeah Group, said, “This will also be a landmark moment as we work towards a zero-waste, clean-energy future for the nation, the region and beyond.”

Constructed by French industrial contractor CNIM, the plant covers an 80,000 square metres and follows ‘EU Best Available Techniques’ to align with the strictest environmental standards globally. Within the plant, unrecyclable waste is fed into a boiler to produce high-pressure steam, turning electric turbine generators. toxins and pollutants are filtered from the flue gas produced during the process. Bottom ash is collected to recover metals and ash material for use in construction and roadwork applications, while fly ash is collected and treated separately.

An adjacent to the waste-to-energy plant operated by Beeah Recycling has already helped achieve a 76 per cent landfill waste diversion rate in Sharjah. Unrecyclable waste from the complex will be transported to the waste-to-energy plant.

Al Huraimel said, “We are confident that with a successful testing and commissioning period, and once the plant is fully operational, we will also demonstrate how waste-to-energy is an essential innovation to sustaining the circular economy, tackling the challenge of unrecyclable waste, and serving as a more affordable, low-carbon alternative to traditional fossil fuels.”

Beeah and Masdar are exploring opportunities for Emirates Waste-to-Energy company to open similar plants in the UAE and the wider region.