Photographer: Duncan Chard/Bloomberg

Abu Dhabi's Masdar Starts Trash-Energy Venture in Nearby Sharjah

  • Emirates Waste to Energy Co. will burn waste for electricity
  • First plant will process 300,000 tons of solid waste a year

Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy company Masdar formed a joint venture to build a power plant that runs on garbage as the United Arab Emirates seeks to diversify its sources of electricity.

Masdar, as Abu Dhabi Future Energy Co. is known, created Emirates Waste to Energy Co. in partnership with Bee’ah, the government-owned waste management company in nearby Sharjah, the companies said Thursday in a statement. Their first project will be a 30-megawatt power plant to process 300,000 tons of solid waste a year.

The U.A.E., with about 6 percent of global crude reserves, is diversifying its energy supply by building solar plants and nuclear reactors with the aim of meeting half of its domestic energy needs from sources other than oil and natural gas by 2050. The country is earmarking 600 billion dirhams ($163 billion) in new spending to diversify its energy mix, Energy Minister Suhail Al Mazrouei said in January.

Emirates Waste to Energy will look to build other plants in the region, according to the statement. Masdar and Bee’ah also signed a power purchase agreement to sell electricity to Sharjah’s municipal utility. They didn’t specify when the plant will be completed or provide details on cost. Sharjah will become the first city in the Middle East to eliminate the need for landfill, with 100 percent diversion of waste from landfill, the companies said.

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