UAE gets its first sewage-fired power plant

Belgian contractor Besix says its flagship sludge-to-energy plant in the emirate of Ajman, UAE, which it began building in 2019, is finished and has passed performance tests.

Commissioned by Ajman Sewerage (Private) Company Ltd. (ASPCL), the facility digests sewage sludge – a troublesome bi-product of the wastewater treatment process – creating biogas that is burned to generate heat and electricity.

The first of its kind in the UAE, the plant provides up to half the electricity needed for ASPCL’s wastewater treatment plant in Al Jurf.

It has two power generators with a combined capacity of 2.4MW, equivalent to the energy consumption of 2,000 households in the UAE.

ASPCL currently purifies 120 million litres of wastewater a day, equivalent to the daily sewage flow from Ajman.

Besix said sewage sludge has historically been dumped in conventional landfills where, if it is left unstabilised, fermentation can greenhouse gases and bad smells.

It said the plant paves the way for further upgrades such as solar sludge drying and the use of restaurant fat to generate power.

The plant complies with European safety regulations for biogas plants, and its emissions meet the stringent TA Luft standards, which is the German air pollution control regulation.

It’s the third sludge-to-energy project that Besix has commissioned in five years.

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