Besix has announced that its flagship sludge-to-energy project in the northern emirate of Ajman has successfully passed performance and reliability tests. A first-of-its-kind facility in the UAE, it complies with all European safety regulations for biogas plants.
Designed and built by Besix Middle East for Ajman Sewerage (Private) Company Limited (ASPCL), the facility transforms what was previously considered a waste stream – sewage sludge – into a valuable source of sustainable energy.
The facility permits the on-site production of green energy covering up to 50% of the electricity consumption of the ASPCL wastewater treatment plant in Al Jurf.
The facility comprises two power generators with a combined capacity of 2.4 MW, which is equivalent to the energy consumption of 2,000 households in the UAE.
Since 2002, ASPCL has played a central role in managing the wastewater of Ajman. The company currently purifies 120,000,000 litres of wastewater per day, equivalent to the daily sewage flow from Ajman.
Sewage sludge is a residual organic by-product of biological wastewater treatment, which sewage treatment plants have historically disposed of in conventional landfills.
The Ajman Sludge-to-Energy facility digests the sludge to produce biogas, which is then used to generate heat and electricity that is used in the wastewater treatment plant itself.
This solution has environmental advantages. In addition to reducing the wastewater treatment plant’s reliance on the public power grid and providing a circular solution, the digestion process allows for a significant reduction of the sludge quantities, whilst avoiding the uncontrolled fermentation of unstabilised sludge which releases large quantities of greenhouse gases, generates odorous nuisance and poses a potential risk to public health.