x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 21 September 2017

Abu Dhabi plans huge waste-fired power plant

Abu Dhabi National Energy Company, better known as Taqa, has signed an agreement to build a waste-fuelled power plant that would be among the largest of its kind in the world.

The energy company plans to develop the 100-megawatt plant by 2016, processing up to 1 million tones of waste per year. Ryan Carter / The National
The energy company plans to develop the 100-megawatt plant by 2016, processing up to 1 million tones of waste per year. Ryan Carter / The National

Abu Dhabi National Energy Company, better known as Taqa, has signed an agreement to build a waste-fuelled power plant that would be among the largest of its kind in the world.

The plant, a first for the UAE, is part of a wider project to drastically reduce the amount of rubbish that is buried in landfills in the desert.

"We see this as the first of its kind in Abu Dhabi, with more to follow," said Hamad Al Suwaidi, the chairman of the board at Taqa, in a statement released yesterday.

The energy company plans to develop the 100-megawatt plant by 2016, processing up to 1 million tones of waste per year, according to a memorandum of understanding signed with the emirate's Centre of Waste Management (CWM).

The project is part of the CWM's efforts to reduce the amount of waste going into landfills by 80 per cent by 2030. Taqa will be key to meeting this objective, said Mohammed Al Bawardi, CWM's chairman. The project is the first step in Taqa's diversification away from traditional power plants and oil and gas production, the company's current core businesses.

Taqa owns power and water plants in Abu Dhabi and the Northern Emirates. The company is majority-owned by the Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority (Adwea), a Government body, and has a minority stake floated on the Abu Dhabi Securities Market.

Apart from its UAE investments, Taqa also produces power in Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Ghana and the United States.

It recently bought a stake in a 1,000-megawatt power plant in Iraqi Kurdistan and was the lowest bidder for the Hassyan power project in Dubai, which was postponed at the last minute. Taqa holds oil and gas assets in Canada, the United Kingdom's North Sea, the Netherlands and Kurdistan.

This year, it launched a division focusing on renewable energy, in a departure from its traditional emphasis on hydrocarbons. Taqa expects the unit to become a substantial part of its business.

"The plan is, since this is the third vertical, it should be as big as the other two verticals," said Saif Al Sayari, Taqa's head of energy solutions, at the World Future Energy Summit held in Abu Dhabi this year.

Taqa reported about Dh534 million (US$145.3m) of net profit on revenue of Dh5.7 billion for the first three months of this year. It reported Dh752mof profit last year, a 26 percent decline from 2010, on Dh24.4bn of revenuedue to a one-off charge on gas investments in Canada and higher taxes on oil production assets in the UK.

fneuhof@thenational.ae