What do you do when you have too much garbage but not enough energy? Convert one into the other. That's the thinking behind the waste-to-energy plants that are beginning to pop up around the globe, and now the Government of Dubai has announced plans to build the world's largest.
When it's up and running, the waste-to-energy (WET) plant is expected to treat up to two million tons of solid waste every year, which is about 60 percent of Dubai's annual garbage production. That will give the plant a capacity of 185 MW, which is roughly two percent of Dubai's annual energy consumption and will enable it to provide power to 120,000 homes.
The Shenzhen East Waste-to-Energy Plant in China is currently on track to be the world's largest, but if the Dubai project can meet its goals, it should be able to swipe the title before Shenzhen is even finished. Both are due to be completed in 2020, and while they can both process over 5,500 tons of waste per day, Dubai's output is 20 MW higher than Shenzhen's. Still, it's not really a competition, and it's important that more of these sustainable systems are built.
The Dubai plant will be built on a 2-hectare (5-acre) plot of land in the Warsan area, and electricity will be fed into the local grid by way of HV 132 kV cables. The Dubai Municipality is partnering with the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority, Swiss company Hitachi Zosen Inova and Belgian construction company Besix Group on the project.
It will cost around AED2.5 billion (US$680 million), with construction set to kick off in the next few months. If all goes to plan, the plant should be up and running before Dubai hosts Expo 2020.
The Dubai government explains the plant in the video below.
Want a cleaner, faster loading and ad free reading experience?
Try New Atlas Plus. Learn more