Emirates Waste to Energy Company: Sustainable, Renewable Energy From Waste

Abstract

In September 2015, Khaled Al Huraimel, group chief executive officer (GCEO) of Sharjah Environment Company, LLC (Bee’ah), called a meeting of his top management team at the head office. They discussed a change in direction at Bee’ah with regard to the utilization of waste that was being dumped in Sharjah’s landfills as a source of fuel for producing energy. Those attended the meeting were Mohammed Quraishi, CEO of Bee’ah Energy, Daker El Rabaya, managing director of waste processing, and Mohamed Al Hosani, managing director of environmental consultancy and services at Bee’ah. Khaled Al Huraimel suggested to Mohammed Quraishi that Bee’ah could improve waste management practice, and make it sustainable, by establishing a plant to produce electricity from fuel generated from waste. He pointed out that such a scheme would solve the problem of overflowing waste dumps and instead create a source of cheap power. Al Huraimel’s plan was to create a company to accomplish this waste transformation— the Emirates Waste to Energy Company (EWTE). The project was sponsored as a joint venture between Bee’ah, the Middle East’s sustainability pioneer, and the Masdar Company, Abu Dhabi’s future energy company. EWTE faced several internal and external challenges, such as building a qualified team to lead the project, confirming a purchaser for the power from Sharjah Electricity and Water Authority (SEWA), assembling the right technology for optimal plant operation, and financing the project, as the cost was very high. Due to these challenges, Quraishi developed a sustainable waste management program that ensured optimizing operation plant, maximizing production, and minimizing problems. There were some concerns, particularly how to improve the efficiency of the waste-to-energy (WTE) generation process.

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