Besix Middle East announced that its flagship sludge-to-energy project in the Emirate of Ajman has successfully passed performance and reliability tests. Designed and built by Besix Middle East for Ajman Sewerage (Private) Company Limited (ASPCL), the facility transforms what was previously considered a waste stream – sewage sludge – into a valuable source of sustainable energy.
The facility, touted as the first of its kind in the UAE, allows for the on-site production of green energy covering up to 50 per cent of the electricity consumption of the ASPCL wastewater treatment plant in Al Jurf. The plant comprises two power generators with a combined capacity of 2.4 MW, which is equivalent to the energy consumption of 2,000 households in the UAE, as per the statement. Since 2002, ASPCL has played a key role in managing the wastewater of the Emirate of Ajman. The company currently purifies 120,000,000 litres of wastewater per day, equivalent to the daily sewage flow from Ajman.
The sludge-to-energy facility digests the sludge to produce biogas, which is then used to generate heat and electricity that is used in the wastewater treatment plant itself. This solution is said to have environmental advantages. In addition to reducing the wastewater treatment plant’s reliance on the public power grid and providing a circular solution, the digestion process allows for a significant reduction of the sludge quantities, whilst avoiding the uncontrolled fermentation of unstabilised sludge which releases large quantities of greenhouse gases, generates odors and poses a potential risk to public health.
In addition, the company said, the facility paves the way for further environmental upgrades such as the implementation of solar sludge drying and the use of fat, oil and grease from restaurants grease traps to boost the plant’s electricity production potential.
The contract for designing and building the facility was awarded to Besix Group by ASPCL in 2019. This is the third sludge-to-energy project that the company has successfully commissioned in five years. In the Netherlands, Besix has successfully implemented similar biogas production and energy recovery schemes, including 100 per cent energy-neutral facilities.
The project complies with the relevant European safety regulations for biogas plants, and its emissions meet the stringent TA Luft standards, the German air pollution control regulation, as per the statement.