Construction work has started on the United Arab Emirates’ and the Gulf region’s first waste-to-energy project in Sharjah, a top official from the joint venture developing the project said.
“We have already started construction of the first phase of the project, which will treat more than 300,000 tonnes of [municipal solid] waste and generate 35 megawatts [of electricity],” said Khaled Eisa Al Huraimel, group CEO of Sharjah-based environment management company, Bee’ah.
The project is being developed by Emirates Waste-to-Energy Company (EWEC), a joint venture between Bee’ah and Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy company, Masdar.
“We are looking at a completion time of around 30 months. We will also have other phases,” Al Huraimel told Thomson Reuters Projects on the sidelines of Sharjah FDI Forum last Tuesday.
French company CNIM was awarded the contract to design, build and operate the plant, located within Bee’ah’s existing Waste Management Centre, the company said in a statement issued in May.
“Right now, we are treating 70 percent of Sharjah’s waste. This project will absorb the [remaining] 30 percent that goes to landfill,” said Al Huraimel.
“By 2020, when this plant is complete, we are confident that Sharjah will be at almost zero waste to landfill,” he added.
The UAE government’s Vision 2021 has set a target of raising the percentage of treated waste to 75 percent by 2021.
The project’s feasibility has been secured through its revenue streams.
“There is sale of power, which is one revenue stream; the other revenue stream is gate fees – when you bring in waste, you have to pay gate fees,” Al Huraimel explained.
Sharjah Electricity & Water Authority (SEWA) has entered into a power purchase agreement with EWEC to buy the electricity generated by the project.
With its first waste-to-energy project underway, Be’aah is eyeing similar opportunities within the country and the region.
“We are exploring opportunities in other emirates in the UAE with the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change. There are opportunities across the GCC that we are exploring with Masdar,” said Al Huraimel.
He pointed out that the joint venture with Masdar aims to develop waste-to-energy plants across the region.
“We are exploring waste-to-energy opportunities in Jordan,” Al Huraimel said, adding that the company is also bidding for waste management opportunities within the GCC.
In April, Thomson Reuters Projects reported that Jordan's Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources has invited expressions of interest (EOIs) from companies to design, finance, construct, commission, own, operate and maintain a 1,000 tonnes/day waste-to-energy project in Irbid Governorate for a period of 25 years.