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Tripartite alliance.. Al Saja’a landfill into solar energy farm

BEEAH Group, a leader in the sustainability sector, the Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company “Masdar”, and the Sharjah Electricity, Water and Gas Authority revealed the tripartite alliance’s intention to transform the waste dump in the Al Saja’a area in the Emirate of Sharjah, for the first time in the Middle East and North Africa region, into a solar energy farm.

The announcement came from the UAE pavilion at the United Nations Climate Conference (COP28), in the presence of Khaled Al Huraimel, CEO of BEEAH Group, Mohammed Jameel Al Ramahi, CEO of Masdar, and Abdullah Abdul Rahman Al Shamsi, Director General of the Sharjah Electricity, Water and Gas Authority, with the participation of a number of senior officials. The specific initiative aims to transform waste landfills into solar energy farms and thus support efforts to completely divert waste away from landfills and enhance clean energy production.

BEEAH Group’s integrated waste management strategy has begun to bear fruit, as the rate of diverting waste away from landfills in the Emirate of Sharjah reached 90%, which is the highest in the Middle East region. The inauguration of the Sharjah Waste-to-Energy Station, the first of its kind in the country more than a year ago, contributed to reaching this achievement. It is worth noting that BEEAH Group is on its way to enabling the emirate to be the first city in the region in which waste is completely diverted away from landfills, thus improving people’s quality of life. With the achievement of this goal, the landfills located in the Al Saja’a area in the Emirate of Sharjah will be permanently closed, and the tripartite alliance will work to convert them into solar energy farms in accordance with international standards, environmental laws, and technical safety standards. In addition, the new project aims to generate clean and sustainable energy, improve land use, and provide a beneficial approach on both the economic and environmental levels.

Khaled Al Huraimel expressed his optimism about the new project and added: “We derive our vision of making Sharjah the capital of sustainability from the directives and vision of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah. It is an example that we follow to reach environmental and development goals in order to improve the quality of life of the community.” Our vision of sustainability is also complementary to and consistent with our leadership in the green technology sector, and from this standpoint, we are working to put forward innovative and qualitative ideas in order to promote clean energy and open horizons for a bright tomorrow, especially in terms of completely diverting waste away from landfills. BEEAH Group works according to a precise and comprehensive waste collection system, and recycling them, recovering materials, and converting waste into energy, which are efforts that will contribute to reaching the goal of completely diverting waste away from landfills in the Emirate of Sharjah, and then closing those sites. This project, which aims to transform the landfill into a solar energy farm, represents an ideal solution for reusing landfills, in addition to strengthening the waste management system, while at the same time devoting the capabilities of the United Arab Emirates in the field of renewable energy through advanced infrastructure in this vital sector. In addition to promoting carbon reduction within waste management, this qualitative initiative will accelerate the transition to green energy, supporting climate action and sustainability goals. I would like to point out that we are counting greatly on this partnership with Masdar and the Sharjah Electricity, Water and Gas Authority to advance the goals of the United Arab Emirates towards a bright future for clean energy and completely diverting waste away from landfills.”

The landfills into solar farms project will convert more than 68 hectares of land into solar farms, with a total energy production capacity of 120 megawatts, by adopting an innovative and unprecedented approach to reusing landfills. In detail, photovoltaic solar cell panels will be installed above the waste dump located in the BEEAH Waste Management Complex in the Al Saja’a area in the Emirate of Sharjah.

Closed landfills often face redevelopment problems around the world due to stringent environmental monitoring and remediation requirements, while the project to convert the landfill into solar farms ensures that the emirate’s needs and energy savings are met, while restoring social and ecological life to the area and enhancing its natural potential through vegetation. The covered area will be planted with local plants to add more aesthetic value to the project and improve the overall appearance. The project will also include an innovation and learning centre, to educate visitors about the features, benefits and importance of solar energy and the environment.

Abdullah Abdul Rahman Al Shamsi, Director General of the Sharjah Electricity, Water and Gas Authority, said: “We are happy today to announce the project to transform the waste dump in the Al Saja’a area into a solar energy farm in cooperation with BEEAH and Masdar.”

He pointed out that this announcement comes within the authority’s vision towards diversifying energy sources and producing energy from clean and renewable sources, in line with the vision of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, in order to preserve our natural capabilities for future generations.

He added: “The beloved Emirate of Sharjah is moving in the right direction under the guidance and vision of the wise leadership for a promising future for the people of the Emirate, achieving its environmental goals and securing sustainable sources of energy.”

During the United Nations Climate Conference (COP28), 118 countries pledged to triple renewable energy in the world by 2030, with the aim of reducing the share of fossil fuels in global energy production. The UAE also led carbon reduction efforts in the energy sector, being one of the countries supporting the pledge. The UAE plans to reach 30% of clean energy in the energy mix by 2030, which will include 14 gigawatts of renewable energy by 2030.

BEEAH has supported the UAE’s transition to alternative energy sources, through pioneering and qualitative clean energy solutions with diverse benefits. Earlier this week at the COP28 conference, the Group announced its partnership with Chinook Hydrogen and Air Water to develop the first commercial production plant for premium green hydrogen.

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