Bee’ah, the country’s leading environmental management company, and Masdar, Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy company, have formally established the joint venture Emirates Waste to Energy Company (EWEC) to develop waste-to-energy plants across the region, it was announced today.
In line with the vision of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, around environmental challenges and ways of maintaining a pollution free environment, the first project will be the Sharjah Multi-Fuel Waste-to-Energy Facility. The plant will be the first in the region and will treat, within its first phase, more than 300,000 tonnes of municipal solid waste (MSW) each year and have a power capacity of around 30 megawatts (MW).
Bee’ah set the ambitious target for Sharjah to achieve zero waste when the company was created back in 2007. At present, the emirate diverts 70% of its waste away from landfill. With the completion of this new facility, Sharjah will soon become the first city in the Middle East to achieve the target of 100% diversion of waste from landfill.
His Excellency Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment for the United Arab Emirates, attended today’s launch of EWEC and witnessed the signing of the waste supply agreement (WSA) and power purchasing agreement (PPA) for the landmark waste-to-energy project by Bee’ah, Masdar and Sharjah Electricity and Water Authority (SEWA) officials.
Bee’ah and Masdar said EWEC’s first project would leverage the strengths of both companies to pave the way for further waste-to-energy facilities in the UAE and the region, delivering commercial solutions to meet the challenge of solid waste disposal and the ever-growing demand for clean energy.
H.E. Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, UAE Minister of Climate Change and Environment, said: “The Waste-to-Energy joint venture in Sharjah represents an important step in our endeavor towards sustainability and a bold and unconventional solution to address the increasing development challenges in a sustainable way to achieve the objectives of the National Agenda for UAE Vision 2021. Hence, this pioneering national project is particularly important in the realization of two main objectives of our National Agenda; raising the percentage of treated waste to 75% and increasing the contribution of clean energy in the national energy mix to 27%.
From his side, Salim Al Owais, Chairman of Bee’ah, said: “As we announce this state-of-the-art facility, it is no exaggeration to say that this is a historic day, not only for Bee’ah and Masdar, but for the whole of the UAE. Together with our strategic partner Masdar, we have set the ambitious goal of making the UAE a beacon for best environmental practices in the Middle East. We also intend to set an example to the world for how a country that has traditionally been heavily reliant on fossil fuels can embrace change and become a leader in green technology, through vision, determination and hard work.”
Al Owais’s comments were echoed by Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, Chief Executive Officer of Masdar.
“Masdar firmly believes in industry collaboration as the most effective way of advancing the deployment of commercially viable technologies, while supporting the UAE’s goals for sustainable economic development. Our partnership with Bee’ah was first announced during Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week 2016, and it gives me great pleasure today to see that bold statement of intent being translated into the formal launch of our joint venture Emirates Waste to Energy Company.
“Our first project together is set to make a vital contribution towards the UAE’s ambitious targets to significantly reduce the amount of waste which goes to landfill, as well as delivering clean energy to households across Sharjah,” Al Ramahi added. “We hope it will be the first of many similar facilities as the efficiency and effectiveness of sustainable waste management and waste-to-energy solutions gathers pace.”
The signing of the power purchase agreement with Sharjah Electricity and Water Authority (SEWA) also took place with the Emirates Waste to Energy Company which was assented by Khaled Al-Huraimel, Bee’ah’s Group CEO, Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, Chief Executive Officer of Masdar and HE Dr Eng Rashid Al Leem, Chairman of SEWA. Under the terms of the agreement, the Emirates Waste to Energy Company will supply SEWA with the power generated from its waste-to-energy plant, the first of its kind in the UAE.
Commenting on the signing ceremony, HE Dr Eng. Rashid Alleem, Chairman of SEWA, said: “We are delighted to sign this Power Purchase Agreement with Bee’ah to receive electricity directly from what will be a state-of-the-art waste-to-energy plant. We are also very happy, even before the facility has been built, to demonstrate through this contract that electricity generated by waste has a very important place in the energy supply chain and to acknowledge the added value of such green energy in terms of reducing carbon emissions. That all of this is happening in our home emirate makes us especially proud, it truly is a win-win situation for both SEWA and our new partners Bee’ah.”
Also, present at the launch event were senior representatives from CNIM led by Nicolas Dmitrieff, Chairman of CNIM and Mohamed Ayachi Ajroud. CNIM, is a French company which is a world leader in treating and recovering energy from waste. CNIM’s presence was central to the day as a signing ceremony took place to mark their appointment as the lead contractor on the project. As such, CNIM will not only design and build, but will operate the new joint venture plant which is to be located within the site of Bee’ah’s existing Waste Management Center Centre.
When it comes online, the new joint venture facility in Sharjah will be able to process as much as 300,000 tonnes of solid waste every year that would otherwise have been buried in landfill sites, thus unlocking the potential of an untapped source of energy. In addition to recovering valuable materials for recycling, the new plant will incinerate up to 37.5 tonnes of solid waste per hour, generating 30MW of energy.
Possessing this huge capacity to turn waste into energy represents a massive step forward step as Sharjah moves towards its stated target of “zero waste to landfill”, while the UAE as a whole seeks to divert 75% of its solid waste away from landfill sites by 2021.
“With the announcement of this new exciting project, we are providing highly visible, tangible evidence of Bee’ah’s and Masdar’s support for sustainable developments in a cleaner, greener UAE,” said Khaled Al Huraimel, Group CEO of Bee’ah. “The launch of this facility also marks an important milestone for the country as it seeks to diversify its renewable energy portfolio, and strengthens our collective vision for the future. It also affirms Bee’ah’s commitment to exploring opportunities beyond the field of waste management.”
The new waste-to-energy plant has been designed to meet the strictest environmental standards, complying with the European Union’s Best Available Techniques which are widely recognised as setting the worldwide standard. Its construction and the ratification of these agreements will serve to raise the UAE’s profile as a world leader in sustainability and green technology, harnessing best practices and deploying them, for the benefit of its citizens and for that of the world.