Khaled Al Huraimel, CEO of Bee’ah, and Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, CEO of Masdar, discuss the Sharjah Waste to Energy facility, reducing waste to zero in the emirate, and the future for energy in and beyond the UAE’s borders.
How did this project and partnership come about?
Firstly, we should outline the scale of the problem that needed to be addressed. Across the world, population growth, increased urbanisation and accelerated economic activities have led to higher waste generation rates. This is of particular significance in the UAE where residents produce between 1.2kg to 1.3kg of waste daily, with 77 percent of that refuse being sent to landfills. Irresponsibly managed or overfull landfills can result in the release of greenhouse gases such as methane and carbon dioxide.
Bee’ah was founded in 2007 as a pioneering force for sustainable solutions in the Middle East, with a strategy rooted in the twin pillars of sustainability and digitalisation. Through a holistic approach towards waste management and advanced recycling facilities, Bee’ah has been able to achieve a 76 percent waste diversion from landfill rate in the Emirate of Sharjah. But to reach zero waste to landfills, we recognized that we needed to go a step further with a waste-to-energy strategy for nonrecyclable residual waste. As such, in 2017, we partnered with Masdar, to form a joint venture – the Emirates Waste to Energy Company to bring waste-to-energy solutions to the region. The partnership leverages synergies from both entities with Bee’ah as the UAE leader in waste management and Masdar as the UAE pioneer for renewable energy.
Emirates Waste to Energy supports the UAE Vision 2021, which has set a clean energy target of 27 percent and to divert 75 percent of solid waste away from landfills by 2021.