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From Waste to Energy: Landfill site generates electricity - first in the region

posted on 01/08/2013: 3665 views

Dubai Municipality's largest waste collection site in Al Ghusais started producing electricity on Monday night, becoming the first landfill in the region to run its entire operation with electricity generated from landfill gas.

This is the first time in the Middle East that landfill gas has been converted to generate electricity through the flaring of methane, which is also in line with Dubai Municipality's vision to generate 20MW of power from landfill gas by 2020.

The Municipality's ambitious waste-to-energy project through a landfill gas recovery plant at the site which opened in January, is now producing1MW (1000KW) of electricity to run the high-efficiency gas conversion and flare equipment installed the plant, power for the site offices and lighting at the landfill, spread over an area of 3.5 sq. kilometres, according to reports by local dailies yesterday.

"With Dubai's bid to host the World Expo 2020 going full steam ahead, we are further highlighting our leadership in creating innovative solutions for the future through the project. This 2020 project is set to produce 20MW of power by the turn of the decade," said Eng Hussain Nasser Lootah, Director-General of Dubai Municipality.

"The project also complements the Dubai Integrated Energy Strategy 2030 to explore alternative energy sources that will reduce demand on the existing power grid, while protecting the environment," explained Lootah.

The Al Ghusais Landfill site adopts the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) initiative, which is registered with the United Nations under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

Through implementing the CDM project, the municipality aims to reduce methane emissions, which is expected to remove 250,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year from the air.

The gas collection system implemented by Green Energy Solutions and Sustainability for the Municipality can recover methane emitted from organic waste and convert it into electricity by flaring gas.

"This environmentally-friendly project involves turning methane gas into electricity, and this is the first stage of transferring electricity to feed the plant and the landfill from 500 cubic metres of methane gas into one megawatt," said Eng Abdul Majeed Saifaie, Director of Waste Management Department at Dubai Municipality.

The Al Ghusais Landfill site has been receiving municipal solid waste since 1978. It is one of the largest sites for municipal waste collection in Dubai, which receives about 5,000 tonnes of waste a day, and with the decomposition of municipal waste, the landfill site emissions are approximately 55 per cent methane and 45 per cent carbon dioxide which until now has been discharged into the atmosphere. – Emirates News Agency, WAM


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