The Emirates Waste to Energy Company, a joint venture between BEEAH, the Middle East’s sustainability pioneer, and Masdar has announced the inauguration of the Sharjah Waste to Energy plant, the first commercial-scale plant of its kind in the Middle East.
The Sharjah Waste to Energy plant, first announced in 2018, will divert up to 300,000 tonnes of waste away from landfills each year, advancing the UAE’s goals for waste management and landfill diversion.
The plant will enable Sharjah to increase its current landfill diversion rate from 76% to 100%, making it the Middle East’s first zero-waste city. If adopted elsewhere, it will also help reduce waste sent to landfills across the UAE.
While producing energy from unrecyclable waste, the Sharjah Waste to Energy plant also has systems to improve energy efficiency and reduce water consumption. The plant follows the European Union’s Best Available Techniques to align with the strictest environmental standards globally.
The project will also displace nearly 450,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions, advancing the UAE’s strategic initiative to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. The combusted waste will produce 30 megawatts (MW) of low-carbon electricity, enough to power 28,000 homes in Sharjah, and save 45 million m3 of natural gas per year.
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 the recovery of metals and ash material, which can be used in construction and roadwork applications. Fly ash is also collected and treated separately.