French energy services company Schneider Electric will supply a range of electrical solutions for the first waste-to-energy facility being built in the UAE at Sharjah.
The 30-megawatt facility is being built by Abu Dhabi's Masdar and Sharjah-based Bee'ah through their joint venture, Emirates Waste to Energy Company. French industrial engineering company CNIM is contracted to build and operate the facility.
The Sharjah waste-to-energy facility will have the capacity to process 37.5 tonnes of non-recyclable solid municipal waste per hour, and will help divert more than 300,000 tonnes from landfill on an annual basis.
The UAE, which is greening its power mix by adding electricity sourced from solar and nuclear to its grid, is also exploring other sustainable forms of fuels such as energy from waste and hydrogen.
The amount of power generated by renewable energy in the UAE will increase from 7 per cent in 2020 to 21 per cent in 2030, and to 44 per cent by 2050 as more new projects come online, according to Rystad Energy.
The electricity generated from the waste-to-energy power plant will be supplied directly to the grid operated by Sharjah Electricity and Water Authority. It will provide enough power for around 28,000 homes, Schneider Electric said in a statement.
Around 450,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions will be offset by the plant, which will help economise the UAE's gas consumption, saving around 45 million cubic metres of the fuel annually.
"With the first waste-to-energy facility in the UAE, we will close the gap to achieve zero waste to landfill for the emirate [Sharjah], while diversifying the alternative energy mix," said Bee'ah chief executive Khaled Al Huraimel.
The UAE is planning to divert 75 per cent of its municipal solid waste to landfill. Earlier this month, a consortium led by Dubai Holding said it had begun work on a Dh4bn energy from waste plant capable of treating 5,666 tonnes of municipal solid waste per day and in January, Emirates Water and Electricity Company invited bids to build Abu Dhabi's first waste-to-energy plant capable of processing between 600,000-900,000 tonnes per year.
Generating power from waste is fairly a nascent industry in the UAE. It involves converting waste into heat, which is then transformed into steam that drives turbines to generate electricity.
Byproducts of the process such as bottom ash is kept in storage and later converted into recyclable materials. The emitted flue gas, which contains carbon dioxide, heavy metals, particulates and acidic gases, is treated through air pollution control measures and later released into the air.
The remaining steam generated from the process is condensed through an air cooler and converted back into water that is reused within the plant.