Dubai's USD 1bn waste-to-energy facility

The facility  is the first of its size and capacity in the Middle East and will set a benchmark in the region where around 150 million tonnes of waste is produced annually.

One of the world’s largest waste-to-energy facilities is coming to life in Dubai, UAE and is one of the most significant renewable energy investments in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The USD 1 billion facility will contribute to reaching the goals set by Dubai Municipality in minimising the volume of municipal waste in landfills and developing alternative energy sources. It will also contribute to UAE ambitions of reaching 75% clean energy and reducing the country’s carbon footprint by 70% by 2050.

With the capacity to process up to 45% of Dubai’s current municipal waste, the facility will convert 1.9 million tonnes of waste annually into approximately 200 MW of electricity – enough to provide energy for more than 120,000 households.

As the Owner’s Engineer, Ramboll reviews all the EPC (Engineering, Procurement & Construction) contractor’s activities to ensure compliance, on behalf of the client, the Dubai Waste Management Company (DWMC). This includes design reviews and inspections during manufacturing and construction. Moreover, Ramboll oversees testing and commissioning of the facility and the transfer to commercial operations.

A circular economy

All the water used in the project, about 1,200 cubic metres per day, will be upgraded from the treated sewage effluent of the Wastewater Treatment Plant in Warsan close to the waste-to-energy facility. Of the 200 MW electrical power produced at the facility, 35 MW will be used to operate the Warsan Wastewater Treatment Plant and 20 MW will be used to operate the waste-to-energy facility. The rest will be fed into the local grid.

The waste-to-energy facility will receive 1,000 truckloads of municipal waste per day, processing waste from 88 trucks per hour. The facility has five waste-to-energy lines to ensure the thermal treatment of 5,666 tonnes of waste per day. The incinerated waste will produce 1,000 tonnes of bottom ash daily, which will be recycled and used in various infrastructure projects. The first two of the waste-to-energy lines are expected to be operational in 2023, and the remaining three lines are expected to be fully operational by 2024.

The facility will be operated under a 35-year concession agreement between Dubai Municipality and DWMC.

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