The groundbreaking of state-of-the-art Waste-to-Energy Treatment Plant in Umm Al Quwain took place on 7th October 2019.

This project was a result of a series of initiatives announced by the UAE President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan and is being implemented under the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, with the follow up of His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister of the UAE and Minister of Presidential Affairs.

The Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MOCCAE) and the Emirates RDF Company are jointly executing the AED132 million project, with 50% of the cost supported by the Follow-up Committee of the Initiatives of the UAE President.

In participation of this event was His Highness Sheikh Rashid bin Saud bin Rashid Al Mualla, Crown Prince of Umm Al Quwain and Chairman of the Umm Al Quwain Executive Council. Also present at the ground-breaking ceremony was Sheikh Ali bin Saud Al Mualla, Chairman of Umm Al Quwain Municipality, His Excellency Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, and His Excellency Jaber Mohammed Ghanem Al Suwaidi, Director General of the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Court and Chairman of the Follow-up Committee of the Initiatives of the UAE President.

Speaking on the occasion, His Excellency Dr Al Zeyoudi said: “Integrated waste management projects are a key component of our efforts to support sustainable waste management in line with the objectives of the UAE Vision 2021 that seeks to achieve sustainable development across all sectors. The waste-to-energy facility in Umm Al Quwain is a prime example of how we are managing the rising volume of waste – a direct result of rapid urbanization, the surge in population and economic growth, as well as changes in the production and consumption patterns.”

He added: “Once complete, the facility will process solid municipal waste generated in Ajman and Umm Al Quwain to produce energy to power cement plants that usually rely on charcoal for their operations.”

For his part, His Excellency Jaber Mohammed Ghanem Al Suwaidi said: “Environmental protection and sustainability are core priorities for the committee, whose ultimate mission is to strike a balance between economic growth and development to provide our people across the UAE with a high quality of life, integrated infrastructure, and top-notch services. In line with this mission, we endeavor to establish multiple similar solid waste treatment facilities across the country.”

Nico de Koning, General Manager of Emirates RDF, said: “This cutting-edge waste management facility will be the first of its kind in the GCC region. I thank the team from the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment for their professionalism and true spirit of cooperation that have been invaluable in getting us to where we are today. It is also encouraging to see many of our future clients, the representatives of cement plants in the country, joining us today to show their support for this innovative project. In September 2020, the high-quality Refuse Derived Fuel from this plant will be available to our first customers.”

The waste-to-energy plant is scheduled to commence operations in Q3 2020 and will span 40 hectares and treat some 1,500 tons of municipal solid waste a day to generate 300,000 tons of alternative fuel annually. Utilizing advanced technologies, the facility will have two parallel operation lines – one to receive non-recyclable waste from waste segregation units, turn it into alternative fuel, and transport this fuel to cement factories, while the second receives recyclable waste from segregation units and conveys it to recycling companies.