The Dubai Centre for Waste Processing will generate 200MW of clean energy. Credit: Government of Dubai Media Office.
Expected to begin operations in 2024, the EfW plant will generate enough energy to power 135,000 households. Credit: Hitachi Zosen Inova.
The Dubai Centre for Waste Processing plant is being built at an estimated cost of $1.08bn. Credit: BESIX.
The EfW facility is part of the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050. Credit: BESIX.
By processing 1.9 million tonnes of waste a year, the plant will convert 45% of Dubai’s municipal waste into clean energy. Credit: BESIX.

The Dubai Centre for Waste Processing is a 200MW energy-from-waste (EfW) facility being developed in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The EfW project is being developed by Dubai Waste Management Company (DWMC), a project company jointly owned by Dubai Holding, Itochu, Dubal Holding, BESIX, Hitachi Zosen Inova and Tech Group. Itochu holds 20% stake in the company, while Hitachi Zosen Inova and Dubai Holding own 10% and 31%, respectively. The remaining stake is held by the other three companies. The estimated cost of the Dubai EfW project is AED4bn ($1.08bn). The facility will be one of the largest EfW projects in the world upon completion in 2024.

Location and details of the Dubai Centre for Waste Processing

The Dubai Centre for Waste Processing is being built near a waste landfill site in the industrial neighbourhood of Warsan, approximately 15km east of downtown Dubai.

The facility will have the capacity to treat approximately 5,666t a day of Dubai’s solid, industrial and commercial waste, or about 1.9 million tonnes of waste a year. It is expected to process up to 45% of the total municipal waste generated by the city, significantly reducing the volume that goes to landfill.

Gases produced by the waste will act as the fuel to generate approximately 200MW of clean energy. The process will include burning the gases to turn the turbine for electricity generation. The gases will undergo filtration and treatment with lime to control the release of pollutants during the processing. Renewable energy generated from the process will be transferred to the local grid to power 135,000 homes. It is expected to provide approximately 2% of the total annual electricity consumption of Dubai.

Plant processing and equipment details

The EfW facility will implement the recovery by heat treatment method, which involves processes such as incineration, co-incineration, pyrolysis and gasification to convert waste that cannot otherwise be recycled or recovered into renewable energy.

The plant will be equipped with a waste weighing unit, a steam and power generation unit, 15 reception points, five furnaces, 10,000 gas processing units and 27 gates. Metals will be recovered from the process and the incinerated waste ash will be used as construction material.

The facility’s thermal transfer efficiency is expected to be 29%, which will be among the highest in the world.

Construction and sustainability

Early construction work on the project started in 2020. The UAE Vice-President and Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum reviewed the project in October 2020. As of March 2021, foundational works on the project are progressing at pace. Phase one of the waste-to-energy project is expected to be completed in 2023, and the entire project will be ready for operation in 2024.

The project will provide employment to 2,500 workers during the peak construction phase. Up to 16 tower cranes, including the world’s largest tower cranes, will be used to install equipment at the plant.

The EfW facility is designed to allow Dubai Municipality to meet its sustainability targets in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It is also expected to significantly contribute to the achievement of goals and targets set by the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050.

In addition to reducing the volume of municipal waste that goes to landfills, the new plant will contribute towards environmental protection, reducing carbon emissions and the development of alternative energy sources.

Financing for the waste processing project

The project achieved financial closure in March 2021, when the developers finalised $900m in long-term project finance loan agreements with financial institutions such as Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC), KfW IPEX Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, Siemens Bank, Societe Generale Bank, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC), Mizuho Bank and Crédit Agricole Bank.

Insurance for a portion of the loan is being provided by Nippon Export and Investment Insurance (NEXI).

Key players involved in the Dubai Centre for Waste Processing

DWMC signed an agreement with the Dubai Municipality to establish the waste-to-energy plant, which is being developed on a build, operate and transfer (BOT) basis. The consortium will build and operate the project for 35 years. BESIX will design and execute the infrastructure works, civil engineering and construction, while Hitachi Zosen Innova will supply the thermal waste recovery technology for the facility.

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