Masdar News

Construction completed on UAE’s first waste-to-energy plant

10 May 2022
Clean Energy, Projects

Construction has been completed on the Sharjah Waste to Energy plant, the first such facility in the UAE, with the project now entering the testing phase. Board members from Emirates Waste to Energy – the Masdar/BEEAH Energy joint venture developing the project – recently toured the plant to gauge progress and assess its readiness.

Once fully operational, the Sharjah Waste to Energy plant will support Sharjah’s objective of being the Middle East’s first zero-waste city, by transforming unrecyclable waste into clean energy, and increasing the current landfill diversion rate from 76 percent to 100 percent. The plant, the first commercial waste-to-energy project in the Middle East, will also help reduce waste sent to landfills across the UAE while contributing to the nation's clean energy resources. 

Members of the Emirates Waste to Energy board of directors recently toured the facility, including Fawaz Al Muharrami, acting Executive Director of Masdar Clean Energy, Khaled Ballaith, Director of Special Projects at Masdar, and Mohamed Nayeem Qureshi, Chief Executive Officer for BEEAH Energy. The board members were accompanied by Hamza Al Jefri, General Manager for Sharjah Waste to Energy, on the tour.

At full capacity, the plant will divert up to 300,000 tonnes of waste away from landfills each year, while producing 30 megawatts (MW) of low-carbon electricity, enough to power 28,000 homes in Sharjah. The project will also displace nearly 450,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions and save 45 million m3 of natural gas per year.

The plant works by processing unrecyclable waste to produce heat up to 1,200°C, which will be recovered by a boiler. The steam produced by the boiler will drive a steam turbine to produce electricity. Bottom ash produced by the process will be collected to recover metals and ash material for use in construction and roadwork applications, while fly ash will be collected and treated separately.

The Sharjah Waste to Energy plant supports the UAE’s waste reduction goals and the Net Zero by 2050 strategic initiative, which seeks to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. Emirates Waste to Energy is currently exploring opportunities to open similar plants across the UAE and the wider region.