His Highness Dr Sheikh Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, on Tuesday inaugurated the Sharjah Waste to Energy plant, the first-of-its-kind project in the Middle East.
The plant, announced in 2018, will divert up to 300,000 tonnes of waste from landfills annually, supporting the achievement of the UAE’s goals for waste diversion and management. It is the first project of Emirates Waste to Energy, a joint venture established by Bee’ah Energy and Masdar.
The project will contribute to avoiding the emission of up to 450,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide annually, which supports the country’s efforts to implement the strategic initiative to achieve climate neutrality by 2050. It will produce 30 megawatts of low-carbon electricity, enough to supply electricity to about 28,000 homes in the UAE, and provide 45 million cubic meters of natural gas each year.
Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Crown Prince and Deputy Ruler of Sharjah; Sheikh Abdullah bin Salem bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Deputy Ruler of Sharjah; Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Deputy Ruler of Sharjah, also attended the ceremony.
Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and Chairman of Masdar; Salim bin Mohammed Al Owais, Chairman of Bee’ah Group; Masdar chief executive officer (CEO) Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi; Bee’ah Group CEO Khaled Al Huraimel, and other industry and government leaders were also present on the occasion.
Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber said the deployment of the first commercial scale waste to energy plant in the Middle East represents a landmark achievement in the UAE’s sustainable economic growth trajectory.
“By turning waste into energy, this new plant exemplifies the economic benefits of sustainable en-ergy production and a low carbon development pathway. The use of this technology reduces waste and landfill use, creates valuable low carbon energy and introduces a new sustainable industry to our region,” he said.
“Today’s event marks a key milestone in the UAE’s sustainable development and demonstrates the economic impact of the UAE’s Net Zero by 2050 Strategic Initiative. This is the type of practical in-novation that the UAE is keen to promote along with domestic and international partners in sup-port of commercially viable climate solutions, in particular as the nation prepares to host COP 28 next year,” he said.
Khaled Al Huraimel delivered a speech in which he thanked the Ruler of Sharjah for his continuous support for Bee’ah and its continuous efforts in implementing the emirate’s vision, which contributed to the completion of the Sharjah waste-to-energy plant.
“By enabling 100 per cent landfill waste diversion in Sharjah and contributing to low-carbon electricity in the UAE, this partnership highlights the clean-energy opportunity in tackling the challenge of unrecyclable waste,” he said.
Mohammed Hassan Khalaf, director-general of the Sharjah Broadcasting Authority, gave a presentation on the achievements of Bee’ah, the Sharjah Waste to Energy plant.
Bee’ah Group has achieved a qualitative achievement in the Emirate of Sharjah by raising the diversion of waste away from landfills at a rate of 76 per cent, the highest in the Middle East, with the support of various recycling facilities that receive various types of waste.
“With the waste-to-energy plant entering the actual operation phase, we will be able to completely treat non-recyclable waste, thus raising the rate of waste diversion in the Emirate of Sharjah away from landfills to one hundred percent,” he added.
The Ruler of Sharjah, Sheikhs and attendees watched a presentation on the stages of establishing the Sharjah Waste to Energy plant, its most prominent objectives, facilities and expected operating results.
The plant works by processing unrecyclable waste at high temperatures and the resulting heat is recovered by a boiler. The boiler then produces steam, which drives a turbine to produce electricity. Bottom ash produced during the process is collected for recovery of metals and ash material, which can be used in construction and roadwork applications. Fly ash is also collected and treated separately.
The plant covers an 80,000 sqm area and is adjacent to the integrated waste management complex operated by Bee’ah Recycling, Bee’ah Group’s recycling and material recovery business. Unrecyclable waste from the waste management complex will be taken for processing at the Sharjah Waste to Energy plant.