Dubai Waste-to-Energy facility achieves first fire milestone

When fully operational the facility will process 5,666t of waste per day and generate enough electricity to power approximately 135,000 homes

A significant milestone in the Dubai Waste-to-Energy (DWE) project has been achieved according to BESIX and Hitachi Zosen Inova (HZI). The successful ignition of the first fire at the DWE facility is said to represent a crucial step towards completing and operating the plant, and demonstrating the efficient and safe processing of waste to generate renewable energy.

The DWE facility is billed as the world’s largest and most efficient waste-to-energy facility, and aims to reduce landfill dependency and help Dubai achieve its goal of 75% waste diversion by 2025. Currently in its commissioning phase, the DWE facility processes 1,000 tonnes of waste daily. Energy production on two lines is set to commence in August 2023; the project aims to be fully operational across all five lines in Q1 2024.

The first fire milestone was witnessed by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council. The visit underscores the project’s importance and serves as a testament to Dubai’s commitment to sustainability, innovation, and the pursuit of excellence.

Several firms are involved in the DWE project including BESIX, HZI, Dubai Holding, DUBAL, Tech Group and ITOCHU. BESIX was said to have been chosen for the project due to its expertise in complex infrastructure projects, and plays an integral role in the DWE project. The firm is responsible for overseeing civil, infrastructure, fire-fighting, and ancillary works. Meanwhile, HZI led process-related work, and leveraged its technology offering and expertise to convert municipal solid waste efficiently and safely into clean energy.

“We are immensely honoured to have His Highness witness the successful ignition of the first fire. This momentous achievement was made possible by the efficient collaboration between BESIX and HZI, along with Dubai Holding, DUBAL, Tech Group, and ITOCHU. All parties take great pride in working together towards our shared objective,” said Benoit Vadani, Vice-President, Director Development at BESIX.

At its peak, the plant will process 5,666t of waste daily, equivalent to two million tonnes annually. This will generate 220MW of electricity, supplying power to roughly 135,000 homes in the region. From the residual ash produced during combustion, metals will be recovered and recycled for commercial use, a statement explained.

Roni Araiji, Managing Director Middle East, Hitachi Zosen Inova added, “HZI stands as a global leader in sustainable energy and environmental solutions. This facility represents a remarkable collaboration to tackle pressing waste management challenges and generate clean energy for the region. The successful ignition of the first fire serves as a testament to our system’s capability to convert waste efficiently and safely into renewable energy.”

The facility’s construction adheres to the highest standards of engineering, efficiency, and environmental sustainability. Once completed, a joint venture between HZI and BESIX will provide operation and maintenance services for 35 years under an agreement with Dubai Municipality, the statement concluded.


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