Abu Dhabi: A waste-to-energy plant and electronic waste recycling facility will come up in Sharjah, it was announced on Wednesday during Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week.

The waste-to-energy facility will produce 30 megawatt (MW) of total energy from municipal solid waste and the e-recycling plant will process electronic waste in an efficient and environmentally friendly manner with a lowered carbon footprint, according to Bee’ah, the environmental management company operating in Sharjah.

Bee’ah signed a memorandum of understanding and an agreement separately on Wednesday with its partners for setting up these two different projects. However, the announcements did not mention any time frame in materialising the projects.

Masdar, Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy company, will develop the waste-to-energy plant in Sharjah, in partnership with Bee’ah. Diverting as much as 300,000 tonnes of solid waste from landfills each year, the project will help Sharjah reach its “zero waste-to-landfill” target by 2020 and also help the UAE deliver on its 2021 goal of diverting 75 per cent of solid waste from landfills, said a press release issued by Masdar.

The facility will incinerate up to 37.5 tonnes of solid waste per hour to create 30MW of energy. This will add to what is produced by Bee’ah’s auxiliary waste-to-energy project, which will eventually produce a total of 90MW and will be supplied to the Sharjah electricity grid.

Khalid Al Huraimel, Group CEO of Bee’ah, said: “The cutting-edge waste-to-energy plant in Sharjah is a concrete example of what this strategic partnership will deliver to the UAE and the communities that we serve.”

Mohammad Jameel Al Ramahi, chief executive officer of Masdar, said: “With GCC countries having among the highest rates of per-capita waste production in the world, sustainable waste management solutions are both critically important and a clear business opportunity.”

Bee’ah, Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq), Gulf Islamic Investments (GII) and Attero Recycling India signed the agreement to set up e-recycling facility. As part of the agreement, Bee’ah will make significant investment in the e-recycling facility that will be housed within its waste management complex.

“Constant technological advancements mean that older devices become obsolete at an ever-increasing rate. Therefore, the need for computer and electronic recycling is higher than ever before and will only continue to rise,” a Bee’ah press release said.

E-recycling will simultaneously achieve social, environmental and economic development of Sharjah as a new investment opportunity that will also benefit the natural environment.

Computer and electronic recycling is a preventive measure as well as a lucrative investment opportunity. Dangerous elements like lead, barium, polychlorinated biphenyls, beryllium, mercury, arsenic and cadmium cause various forms of cancer and other debilitating illnesses.

There are also data security concerns, where electronic data lands in the wrong hands and leads to unpredictable long-term liabilities for corporate entities. E-Waste also contains numerous high-value components like gold, palladium, cobalt, lithium, and platinum, which have historically been recovered in very inefficient and capital-intensive processes. More gold can be derived from e-waste than mining ore, the press release said.

E-waste includes the broad spectrum of electronic appliances, products, components, and accessories that — due to malfunction, exhaustion (batteries, bulbs etc) or obsolescence have been discarded. E-waste generation in the GCC was estimated at 600,000 metric tonnes in 2015, and is expected to reach 900,000 tonnes in 2020.